2 Things I Want to See in Apple Inc.'s 2018 iPad Pro Lineup

This Fool is hoping for a couple of radical display innovations in Apple's next iPad Pro models.

Ashraf Eassa
Ashraf Eassa
Jun 19, 2017 at 10:15AM
Technology and Telecom

This year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) updated its iPad Pro lineup with two stellar products -- a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a heavily upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. These devices are excellent, with fast processors, superb displays, and a lot of other great hardware features all ready to run the upcoming iOS 11, which promises to dramatically improve the iPad software experience.

Of course, while the new iPad Pros are excellent (and it's taking a substantial amount of discipline on my part to not rush out to my nearest Apple store and nab a 10.5-inch iPad Pro), there's always room for improvement when it comes to technology.

Apple's low-cost iPad models.

Image source: Apple.

Here are two things that I'd like to see Apple include in next year's iPad Pro models.

OLED display, please!

The displays on this year's iPad Pro models are great -- they're color accurate, they're bright, and they're fast. When I spent some time using the new iPad Pro models at my local Apple store, I was blown away by the display and I found it a bit difficult to go back to using my 9.7-inch iPad Pro or my iPhone 7 Plus after experiencing the 10.5-inch iPad Pro's display.

Nevertheless, there's one change I'd like to see Apple make with the next-generation iPad Pro models -- a shift to OLED-based displays. In the near term, such a shift would allow Apple to deliver substantially improved contrast ratios (thanks to "perfect" black levels), improving the viewing experience for darker content.

Furthermore, OLED displays are known to offer superior pixel response times to LCDs, so out in time, a shift to OLED displays in the iPad could allow Apple to deliver even faster displays (the current iPad Pro refreshes its display 120 times per second (120 Hz); OLEDs could make even faster refresh rates -- say, 240 Hz -- a reality in the coming years).

The good news is that about a year ago, generally reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said (via MacRumors) that Apple is, indeed, planning a "revolutionary iPad model" for launch in fiscal year 2018 "with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior based on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel."

Hey, where's 3D Touch?

Apple debuted its display pressure detection technology, marketed as 3D Touch, back in late 2015 with the launch of the iPhone 6s series of smartphones. However, the technology has yet to make its way to the iPad.

Given that virtually every new iPhone sold today includes this feature (meaning that app developers now have ample incentive to support the technology), it'd be nice to see this feature come to the iPad as well.

A report from Apple Insider from a year and a half ago said, citing a "source familiar with the matter," that the 3D Touch solution used in the iPhone 6s series of smartphones (and, presumably, carried over in the iPhone 7 series) can't be used with larger-screen displays.

That source also said that Apple is "working on a comparable technology for integration in both iPhones and iPads."

At the time, Apple Insider's source reportedly said that the technology wouldn't come until after the iPhone 7 launched. So, it's possible that Apple is preparing to deploy it on this year's iPhone models and then that technology will find its way in next year's iPad models.