Apple and Samsung Display have canceled their joint project to develop a 10.86-inch OLED iPad, TheElec has learned.
The tablet was originally slated to launch in 2022 and would have been Cupertino’s first iPad to sport an OLED panel.
The project was stopped due to either the single stack structure of OLED panel or profitability issues or both, people familiar with the matter said.
Single stack refers to the current widely used OLED panel structure where red, green and blue form one emission layer.
Apple had requested a two stack tandem structure instead for the OLED panel it wanted to use on its iPad. The structure stacks two red, green and blue emission layers instead of just one.
This doubles the brightness and extends the panel’s life by up to four times.
Apple had wanted this as tablets are usually used longer by consumers than smartphones.
Despite the request, Samsung Display proposed a single stack structure. The display panel maker, the world’s largest OLED panel manufacturer, has so far only commercialized single stack structure.
Apple continued to insist on the two stack tandem structure, the people said.
LG Display currently applies two stack tandem structure to its OLED panels aimed at the automotive market. But the company currently has a relatively small production capacity when it comes to OLED panels for IT application.
Profitability is an issue for Samsung Display. Unless the company can be certain that the 10.86-inch OLED iPad will be sold for a long time, preparing for the back-end module process for the products can be costly for the South Korean company.
The technology Apple is planning for its two OLED iPads __ one of them to likely be 12.9-inch in size __ launching in either 2023 or 2024 is also different from the one that had been planned for the 10.86-inch OLED iPad.
Apple is planning to both apply the two stack tandem structure as well as thin-film transistor (TFT) low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) for the two OLED iPads.
For the 10.86-inch OLED iPad, it was TFT low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS).
This means that Samsung Display would have had to change its production lines from the first OLED iPad to the two OLED iPads launching later to change from LTPS to LTPO. This requires the manufacturing line to reset which is costly.
Samsung Display was already facing difficulty in increasing the yield rate for 10.86-inch OLED panels, which will take time.