The iPad Air is Apple’s midrange tablet. It offers an economical alternative to the iPad Pro lineup. It sits nicely between the entry-level 7th-gen iPad and the 11” and 12.9” iPad Pro tablets which offer more speed and a Liquid Retina display to rival Apple’s best laptops.
Apple is rumored to upgrade the iPad Air with a brighter 11″ OLED display for its 2020 refresh, which could spell trouble for the 11″ iPad Pro. With Apple adopting OLED screens across its lineup, people may be tempted to purchase the new and improved cheaper Air over the (now) more expensive 11″ Pro model.
In this article, we’ll explain why OLED on the iPad Air could harm 11-inch iPad Pro sales and examine how Apple can avoid doing so by differentiating them multiple fronts. We will evaluate what will happen if both devices feature OLED displays and if this is necessarily bad for Apple in terms of profits or market share, before considering some possible strategies that could help maintain differentiation between them.
Kuo: 2022 iPad Air won’t use OLED to avoid harming 11-inch iPad Pro sales
Apple’s plans to introduce OLED display technology to the iPad family has been a source of much discussion since it was first reported a few months ago. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company will not introduce OLED display tech in the 2022 iPad Air to avoid taking away sales from the 11-inch iPad Pro.
In this article, we will explore how OLED display tech in the iPad Air could harm iPad Pro sales.
OLED displays on iPads
OLED displays are one of the newest and most advanced display technologies available in consumer devices. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, offering better image quality than LCDs. OLED displays have already been released on flagship iPhone models from Apple, and rumors suggest that the company might be planning to incorporate the technology into the upcoming iPad Pro lineup.
Apple has traditionally used LCD technology for its iPad Pro lineup due to cost considerations. Still, OLED could deliver far better colors, vibrancy, contrasts and response time — something iPad Pro users may be willing to pay extra. However, if Apple does decide to include an OLED display on its 11-inch iPad Pro model, it may damage sales of its 12.9-inch counterpart because users may no longer need a larger device with a higher price tag if a smaller model offers them similar or better quality performance.
Also worth noting is the fact that since OLED is still relatively new technology it carries a much higher production cost than LCDs which could potentially make 11-inch iPads more expensive or mandate new price points to accommodate a pricier panel without impacting profits.
Impact on 11-inch iPad Pro sales
With rumors of an iPad Air with a high-resolution OLED panel, the impact on the sales of the 11-inch iPad Pro is an area worth considering.
The 11-inch iPad Pro model includes Apple’s A12Z Bionic chip, which provides a powerful performance that many people require in their day to day lives. But adding an OLED panel to the iPad Air would bring many of these features down to a much more affordable price point. This would directly impact the 11-inch iPad Pro’s value proposition, as it would no longer be much more powerful than its cheaper siblings.
In addition to this, some advantages come from using an OLED panel. OLED screens can be made much thinner than LCD screens and use up to 95% less power when displaying black colors over white colors. This allows for thinner designs and better battery life for devices equipped with OLED displays – something consumers always look for in their purchases.
It remains unclear if Apple will indeed equip its latest iPads with OLED panels, but if it does, it is likely to affect 11-inch iPad Pro sales regardless of how powerful or feature rich the device may be in comparison.
According to the latest predictions made by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPad Air which is due to launch in 2022, will not be featuring an OLED display. This will reportedly be done to avoid harming the 11-inch iPad Pro’s sales.
Let’s have a look at what this means for the iPad sales.
2022 iPad Air won’t use OLED
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that the 2022 iPad Air will not feature an OLED display. This news comes despite previous rumors that pointed to Apple converting the iPad Pro line to OLED in 2021 and deploying OLED on the new iPad Air this year. Kuo’s report should hopefully restate any speculation that the 11-inch iPad Pro would be discontinued or replaced with a new version using OLED.
The lack of an OLED display on the 2022 iPad Air likely means that Apple is planning to retain the 11-inch iPad Pro as it currently stands with LCD and mini LED display options. Apple might still opt for a mini LED display on its 2022 iPad Air, but given its relatively high cost, it seems more likely to use LCD over anything else.
Kuo’s prediction provides some insight into Apple’s plans for the 11-inch iPad Pro which has been speculated as being on its way out with no changes over its last iteration. This prediction should come as a relief to those consumers looking for an 11-inch tablet device who were unsure whether they should wait or buy now given rumors of a new model coming in 2021 or 2022.
Reasons behind the decision
In a recent report, well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple would use an OLED display in the next generation iPad Air, taking a page from the display used by the iPad Pro. This could potentially harm 11-inch iPad Pro sales as it will have a similar OLED panel and reduce the need for users to pay more for Pro features. Here are some of Kuo’s reasoning behind this decision:
• Cost: OLED displays cost significantly less than LCDs, making them attractive for Apple to use in the iPad Air.
• Battery Life: The OLED panel is smaller and lighter than an LCD panel, allowing for better battery life than other iPads with LCD panels.
• Aesthetics: The thin bezels of an OLED display are more appealing than those seen on traditional LCDs. This could help add to a premium feel which could help draw consumer attention to it over other models.
• Touch ID: According to Kuo, incorporating Touch ID into iPad home button will become easier due to housing space savings from using an OLED display instead of an LCD one.
Ultimately, Kuo believes that incorporating OLED screens into both internal and external hardware such as iPads and phones can increase profitability while improving user experience.
Advantages of OLED
OLED technology is often used in top-end products due to its technical advantages and visual appeal. The tech offers darker blacks, faster refresh rates and wider viewing angles, making it ideal for vibrant and immersive viewing experiences.
OLED tech also offers more efficient and brighter displays, as well as thinner design options for the devices which use it.
Let’s look at the true benefits of OLED and why it might be advantageous for the iPad Air.
The brightness of OLED displays can reach higher levels than LCD. This means that the images on an OLED display appear significantly brighter, with greater depth and detail. This can have a positive effect on the user experience when viewing videos, playing games or displaying text, as they are all displayed with greater vibrancy and clarity.
This improved visibility can be especially beneficial in situations where the user needs to spot details quickly and accurately, such as in editing photos or navigating articles. Additionally, OLED displays are better able to provide deep blacks with higher contrast ratios than LCDs which helps give images a more three-dimensional feel.
The improved visibility of OLEDs also provides another bonus for gamers — reduced eyestrain from extended game play sessions.
Higher contrast ratio
One of the biggest advantages of OLED display technology is the superior contrast ratio it offers. A typical LCD monitor displays a contrast ratio of around 1000:1, however an OLED monitor has a contrast ratio of up to 100,000:1. This means that an OLED display will appear brighter and sharper than its LCD counterpart, as its black levels are much deeper and its white levels are much higher.
This allows for incredible contrasts in high-contrast images and text on the iPad Air’s OLED display, as well as improved viewing angles compared to LCDs. This also improves visibility when used outdoors or under various lighting conditions. By using an OLED Panel on the iPad Air, Apple can offer a tablet with significantly more vivid visuals than their current 11-inch iPad Pro lineup which still utilizes LCD technology.
Lower power consumption
OLED displays have a distinct advantage over LCD technology regarding power consumption. Since OLED pixels turn on and off for displaying brighter and darker images, no backlight or active power is being consumed by the display. This results in OLEDs offering a much lower power consumption than conventional LCDs, making them ideal for electronic devices that require longer battery life such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, OLEDs are also thinner and lighter than LCDs which makes them easier to incorporate into new design concepts. This makes it easier for device manufacturers to use the latest technological advances to create thinner, lighter devices with higher battery capacity.
The main reason why this could potentially harm 11-inch iPad Pro sales is because many people consider battery life as an important factor when deciding which tablet to buy. The iPad Air’s new OLED display offers significantly lower power consumption compared to the LCD display found on 11-inch iPad Pro models, meaning users could enjoy longer periods of usage without having to constantly recharge their device. As a result, more customers may be inclined towards purchasing an iPad Air rather than the 11-inch Pro due to this key benefit.
Disadvantages of OLED
OLED is a type of display technology that offers an array of benefits. It offers a crisper display, better picture quality, and improved battery life. However, there are some disadvantages of OLED that must be considered in order to understand why the iPad Air won’t use OLED to avoid hurting 11-inch iPad Pro sales.
This article will discuss the disadvantages of OLED and why avoiding the use of it has potential benefits.
One of the greatest disadvantages that comes along with an OLED display is its costlier production. It requires expensive materials and more energy-intensive production processes, resulting in a relatively higher total cost of ownership.
In addition, OLED panels are more prone to manufacturing defects such as color uniformity and unevenness, due to their organic nature. Furthermore, OLED displays tend to degrade over time due to their light-sensitive organic nature, leading to brightness decrease and color distortion at low voltages and compromised image quality. Furthermore, the sharpness of an OLED panel cannot match that of an LCD panel or LED TV screen.
Other challenges with OLED screens include short life span for modern panels — within a few thousand hours at best — which can be troublesome for all-day users; achievable peak brightness levels, which range from 300 (low) up to 1500 nits (high); as well as limited viewing angles and power consumption values that are typically 50 percent higher than LCDs.
Potential burn-in issues
An issue associated with OLED displays is potential image burn-in, where a previously displayed image “burns” into the display and can be seen as a faint afterimage when subsequent images are displayed. This is most common with bright or colorful images that are left on the screen for an extended amount of time. Though certain technologies have been developed to mitigate or prevent burn-in, the potential for this issue is still present.
Therefore, it is important to note that one of the main disadvantages of OLED displays over LCD displays is potential burn-in and over time, reduced picture quality from this issue.
In conclusion, the inclusion of an OLED panel on the upcoming 2021 iPad Air will undoubtedly have a major impact on 11-inch iPad Pro sales. The cost savings offered by using an OLED panel instead of a traditional LCD panel means that there is far less incentive for customers to purchase the more expensive 11-inch iPad Pro model. Given the growing popularity of OLED panels in high-end tablets, it is likely that Apple will roll out OLED options for other iPads in their lineup as well. In any case, it will be fascinating to see how the competition responds and whether or not the iPad Air with an OLED panel proves successful.