A questionable report from the supply chain says that Apple has already cut iPad Pro OLED screen orders from one supplier down from what was originally requested, leaving the other supplier unaffected.
The OLED iPad saga has lurched on for several years, with the most recent rumors suggesting that it is finally arriving in early 2024. However, if a new report from the China supply chain is accurate, one of Apple’s screen suppliers is feeling the impact of an order cut.
According to a report from Asia Daily, Apple had about 10 million screens ordered for the new OLED iPad Pro lineup. Of those, LG was expected to supply 6 million, and Samsung had orders for 4 million.
Reportedly, the order given to Samsung is unchanged. LG, on the other hand, is said to see the brunt of the cuts, with it now only expected to deliver between 3 million and 4 million screens.
The report on Thursday morning cites “a person in the display industry” in saying that there may be caution about initial demand. Another source for the publication says that the average price of OLED panels for smartphones is between $50 and $60, which other sources have told AppleInsider in the past to be almost twice what Apple is paying per OLED screen.
LG Display is reportedly preparing to use a new OLED material set known as “RDE” in the OLED panel used in the iPad Pro. The material change will apparently be included in models launching in 2024.
The OLED panels used in the current iPhone displays are known as a “single-stack product,” which uses one light-emitting layer. The RDE material LG Display wants to use has a two-stack tandem structure, where two light-emitting layers are stacked on top of each other.
The benefit of the two-stack system is that it can produce the same brightness as a single-stack panel, but consumes less power in the process. Efficiency and lifespan are also anticipated for the panel.
All this is said to come at a steep cost. The most recent pricing rumor, which is similarly questionable to Thursday’s report, says that the OLED iPad Pro line will start at $1500 and rapidly escalate from there.
Asia Daily has a decent track record reporting from inside Apple’s supply chain. It has a notably less accurate one divining what Apple will do, or why it has done something from that data. It’s not clear if Thursday’s report is actually a reduction in what LG was expecting to see, or an actual cut by Apple.