The first iPad with an OLED display may not launch until 2022

Barclays analysts expect the iPhone 13 lineup to adopt Wi-Fi 6E, but that’s not all the speculation they have to share today. The same analysts also believe that Apple may wait until 2022 to add OLED displays to the iPad lineup.

Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Thomas O’Malley, Tim Long, and their associates have put together their expectations for the iPad lineup (via MacRumors), based on conversations they’ve had with Apple suppliers recently. According to the sources, it does not appear that Apple plans to launch an iPad of any kind with an OLED display in 2021. The analysts expect that Apple will launch such a device sometime in 2022 at the earliest.

It’s been rumored and expected for quite some time now that Apple is going to adopt a different display technology for the iPad/Air/Pro at some point in the future. The majority of the signs had been pointing to OLED, but, especially recently, that has switched to mini-LED. Back in November, for instance, it was reported that Apple may adopt OLED displays in the iPad Pro lineup in “late 2021”. But then the same rumors have suggested Apple could switch to mini-LED in early 2021.

Basically, it’s a bit all over the place.

It does not seem likely that Apple would switch display technologies, especially for the same iPad lineup, twice in the same year. It doesn’t even feel all that wise to do it with back-to-back launches of new products. But the rumor mill seems to believe that is indeed what will happen between 2021 and 2022. If that does indeed pan out, it stands to reason we may see mini-LED in early 2021, and then a switch to OLED maybe in late 2022.

Apple seems happy enough with OLED at this point, using the display technology in the iPhone lineup since the launch of the iPhone X (and all of the Apple Watch models). However, a switch to mini-LED also makes sense, considering it offers most of the benefits of OLED, and yet offers even more power efficiency and other benefits.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this shakes out. It feels like a safe bet that Apple is going to adopt a better display technology than its current LCD option in the near-ish future. But will Apple make two major switches in such a short stretch of time? Time will tell.