Shipment target for Apple's OLED iPad Pro reportedly over 9 million units

Jessica Tsai, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Apple's first OLED-screen tablet, the iPad Pro, reportedly has a shipment target of over 9 million units. This is noteworthy given the recent downturn in the overall IT device market.

The launch delays of the OLED iPad Pro have also affected market expectations. However, reports indicate that Apple and South Korean display manufacturers are maintaining their original shipment plans.

Citing market research firm Omdia, Korea's TheElec predicted that tablet OLED shipment volume in 2024 can reach 12.1 million units, with hybrid OLEDs accounting for 8.12 million units (61.7%). Since the OLED iPad Pro is set to be the first tablet to use hybrid OLED, a significant portion of Omdia's hybrid OLED shipment forecast will consist of the iPad Pro OLED.

Although some market research firms predict the 2024 OLED iPad Pro shipment volume to be between 4.5 and 5 million units, South Korean industry sources indicate that companies such as Apple, LG Display (LGD), and Samsung Display (SDC) are sticking to their original shipment goals regarding finished iPad Pro products and panels. LGD's OLED shipment goal is rumored to be 5 million units, while SDC's goal is over 4 million units.

Apple's OLED iPad Pro will come in two sizes, 11-inch and 13-inch, with LGD supplying both sizes and SDC providing the 11-inch OLED panels. It will use a two-stack tandem structure, which theoretically doubles the brightness and quadruples the lifespan compared to a single-stack structure.

In addition, to increase its iPad OLED production capacity, SDC is reportedly expanding from one to two iPad OLED production lines at its A3 line. The A3 line has single-stack OLEDs as its standard design, primarily producing smartphone OLEDs for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. If SDC wants to produce two-stack-tandem OLEDs at the A3 line, it will need to add the corresponding new process.

In contrast, LGD's E6-4 production line, established following a KRW3.3 trillion investment plan announced in 2021, was designed from the start to produce two-stack tandem OLEDs. Recently, LGD hinted at an additional investment of KRW103.8 billion for the E6-4 line through a paid capital increase, thus increasing the total investment for the E6-4 line to approximately KRW3.4 trillion.