Previous rumours had suggested the next iteration of the iPad Air would see some huge improvements to the display tech used.
However it seems that might not be the case anymore, with the latest chatter surrounding the tablet, likely due out sometime in 2022, pointing to continued use of LCD.
This comes from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) who is usually a fairly reliable source when it comes to Apple’s future plans. There’s no definite reason given for this change although Kuo does suggest it could be down to an OLED iPad Air being too similar to the pricier Pro range.
Switching to OLED would likely give the iPad Air a brighter display, with better contrast and perfect black levels. It would also be much better for HDR content and would make the tablet even better for media consumption.
Currently, Apple uses OLED panels on the iPhone range (aside from the iPhone SE) and the Apple Watch.
This year, it also introduced new mini-LED tech to the high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro which brings some of the benefits of OLED to LED panels.
We were thoroughly impressed with the 12.9-inch Pro’s display when we reviewed the tablet earlier in the year, however it clearly adds a lot to the price of the device.
Kuo also states in his note that the 11-inch version of the iPad Pro would be a big focus in 2022, with the smaller model picking up that excellent mini-LED tech like its larger sibling.
We would expect the next version of the iPad Air to also inherit a few of the new features introduced in the most recent iPad models, including the Center Stage front camera. The iPad Air is now the only tablet from Apple to not support this feature, which follows you around in video chats and generally improves the front camera.
The iPad Air is also missing support for 5G, something we’d expect to be added with the next model.