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OLED iPad Pros still expected in March, with April availability

Final Cut Pro on an iPad Pro

A report claims the OLED iPad Pro may not ship until April, while also backing earlier rumors that the 12.9-inch iPad Air is on the way.

The rumor mill has discussed major changes to both the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups, with the former gaining a larger 12.9 option and the latter moving from miniLED to OLED. However, a supply chain report indicates that the actual release of some products to the public may not happen quickly after their introduction.

In a note from Display Supply Chain Consultants seen by AppleInsider, OLED production for 11.1-inch panels has hit upon problems, causing changes in supplier.

Initial plans were for Samsung Display to share OLED 11.1-inch panel duties alongside LG Display, with LG Display also dealing with 12.9-inch panels. However, the plan apparently shifted so that Samsung Display would be the only 11.1-inch supplier, due to high OLED panel prices.

The high cost was a combination of being the first OLED tablet panels that used low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology, tandem stacks, and glass thinning. This all reduced the yield, increasing production costs.

In DSCC's latest supply chain survey, it seems LG Display is shipping 11.1 inch panels in March. As for 12.9-inch panels, Samsung is apparently failing to meet the required volumes for the size.

Looking to April, it is believed that 12.9-inch display volumes are 22% higher, though it was expected that 11.1-inch shipments would be twice as high. The analysts think that Apple needs for both Samsung Display and LG Display to boost their production of 11.1-inch panels to meet expected demand.

Due to display production issues, DSCC expects that OLED iPad Pros will still see a launch in late March or early April. However, because of display supply constraints, shipments to consumers won't actually occur until April.

12.9-inch iPad Air

Aside from the iPad Pro, DSCC also offered an update on the iPad Air lineup. As part of the announcements, a 12.9-inch iPad Air is expected to be announced.

DSCC reiterates in the note that panel shipments for the model started in December.

The comments follow a Monday morning leaker's claim that the 12.9-inch iPad Air won't launch.

DSCC has an industry-leading track record when it comes to display-related rumors. There is a good chance that the news about iPad Pro and iPad Air shipments is accurate.