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Hybrid OLED Panel Technology is Coming to 2024 Apple’s iPad

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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Back in August 2022, a report revealed that Apple plans to use a hybrid OLED panel for its upcoming iPads by 2024. It has now been confirmed today that LG Display has begun developing a new etching technology for OLED panels that will be supplied to Apple.

According to Korea’s The Elec, Apple is set to benefit from new OLED panel etching technology being developed by LG that will allow for slimmer devices while lowering production costs.

The Hybrid OLED Panel Technology

According to reports, the panels are thinner than rigid OLED panels thanks to a novel hybrid technology that supposedly mixes flexible OLED thin-film encapsulation (TFE) with stiff OLED glass substrates. Due to the lack of a backlighting layer, the technique also has lower production costs than flexible OLED panels.

Two glass substrates are used in conventional rigid OLED panels, however in a hybrid OLED panel, the top glass substrate is swapped out for TFE. The panel becomes thinner as a result, and the remaining bottom glass substrate is etched to a thickness of just 0.2mm from 0.5mm.

LG is developing a simultaneous etch-and-cut technique to reduce risk because the resulting “ultra-thin glass” is more susceptible to shattering while being transported to the next phase in the manufacturing line.

Hybrid OLED Panel is Coming to the 2024 iPad

From the report, it is affirmed that LG would initially exclusively use the new technology in its Gen 8 OLED line, with its current Gen 6 OLED line continuing to be used to make iPad models until the next year. Meanwhile, Samsung is reported to have started working on the hybrid technology before LG and will use it right away for the OLED iPad panels it will make on its Gen 6 OLED line.

As it stands, the report does not specify which iPad models will benefit first. However, according to display industry expert Ross Young, Apple aims to release its first 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with OLED panels in 2024.

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