After more than a decade of releasing LCD tablets, this year Apple is widely expected to start transitioning the iPad line over to mini-LED displays, beginning with the iPad Pro (2021) series.

The more advanced panels offer higher levels of contrast and brightness without massively increasing costs, but a new report suggests that mini-LED tech might just be a stepping stone toward OLED, at least in the eyes of Apple.

The first OLED iPad could arrive in 2022

Supply chain sources speaking to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes (via MacRumors) have revealed that Apple is planning to release at least one OLED-equipped iPad model in 2022.The information corroborates a previous research note dated December by analysts at Barclays, who confirmed that there were no plans for an OLED iPad in 2021 and that such a device wouldn’t arrive until 2022 at the earliest.

Apple’s first OLED iPad is set to be accompanied by an OLED MacBook, but no further details are available at this stage. Nevertheless, some educated guesses can be made based on Apple’s past product launches.

OLED panels offer even better contrast and brightness levels, but they’re also much more expensive. It would make sense for Apple to initially offset the additional costs by releasing a high-end product, perhaps an upgraded iPad Pro series.

The 2021 iPad Pro series could debut as soon as this month, so the first eligible models for OLED are likely on schedule for a release in either September or October 2022.

The switch over to OLED could also coincide with the first big iPad Pro redesign since late 2018. Apple was originally expected to introduce an updated design language when it switched to mini-LED, but leaked CAD-based renders suggest that isn’t happening.