Forget OLED iPads, I now want Apple to take the natural next step

The pixel arrangement in an Apple iPad Pro tandem OLED display
(Image credit: Apple)

This month there’s been a lot of talk about Apple’s latest “home cinema in a hand”, the new iPad Pro OLED.

There is a good reason for this. For starters, there's the fact it is the latest gadget from Apple, which is enough to get many punters physically queuing outside their nearest Apple Store. 

But for us at What Hi-Fi? the main reason we're excited as a team is its new tandem OLED screen. We're yet to test the tech in our viewing room, but it aims to radically improve the new iPad Pro’s picture quality, letting it offer the perfect blacks synonymous with OLED and up to 1600 nits peak HDR brightness.

The latter is nowhere near the max you’ll find on some of the next-generation sets in our best TV and best OLED TV pages, some of which can go to 4000 nits max brightness. The peak HDR brightness is is still very impressive, though, especially considering many flagship OLEDs struggled to go over 700 nits even a few years ago. If deployed well the jump could lead to a much more immersive movie watching experience on the new iPad Pro, especially for HDR content.

Despite this, I can’t help but feel a slight feeling that, as cool as the new iPad Pro looks, Apple should go in a very different direction with its next device. Specifically, it should make a full-fat OLED TV.

I know that’s a very "out there" request as there are currently no concrete rumours or signs Apple has any intention of making an OLED TV. The latest credible looking predictions come from research firm Omdia which suggests Apple's next device with an OLED panel will be the iPhone 16 which is expected to launch in September, followed by new 32 and 42-inch OLED computer monitors in 2027. 

The reason I’m saying my wish out loud is that Apple has done all the background work it needs to create a really good OLED TV.

First, there’s the existence of the Apple TV streaming box and Apple TV+ content platform. Apple TV boxes have consistently delivered great user experiences and picture quality whenever we’ve got them in for review. Look at our latest Apple TV 4K (2022) review and you’ll see why.

Despite its age the Apple TV 4K remains the best streaming box on the market, which is why it won a What Hi-Fi? Award in 2023. 

The dinky package supports all the modern HDR standards you’d expect and offered stellar picture and audio performance during all our checks. As an added bonus, Apple’s loaded it with one of the easiest to navigate user interfaces we’ve experienced, making it quick and easy to find content to watch.

Speaking of content, Apple is also now firmly in the content creation business thanks to the arrival of its Apple TV+ subscription service. Apple is responsible for several brilliant shows including Ted Lasso and Masters Of The Air. This, plus the platform's integration with iTunes, means many Apple users' media libraries are already inherently tied to its ecosystem. 

Third, Apple has a solid track record with picture quality. Apple was one of the first brands to properly take colour accuracy and things like gamut coverage seriously. That’s why our best tablets to watch movies on guide is dominated by iPads. We even went so far as to call the previous generation iPad Pro 12.9 "the pinnacle of portable home cinema" when we reviewed it because of this.

Apple's background in the creative industry with its MacBook Pro, iMac Pro computer and Studio and Pro Display XDR monitors add further credence to this point. Apple knows how to make screens that are accurate to what the director intended. If Apple took the same approach to a TV that it did on these categories, it could make a great TV for any serious home cinema fan.

Fourth and finally, is the fact it’s already designing great home cinema audio products. The HomePod 2 has a stereo speaker functionality that lets you turn two of them into a cracking home cinema audio system. Our TV and AV editor, Tom Parsons, liked the experience so much he even penned a separate opinion piece about how great they work in this set-up when we reviewed the latest HomePod nearly two years ago. 

Its AirPods Max are similar, being among the only wireless headphones that can deliver proper, full fat, Dolby Atmos powered Spatial Audio, when watching movies on an Apple TV or modern iPad/iPhone.

Imagine what a great experience you could have watching movies at home if Apple combined all of these ingredients into a full-fat, flagship OLED. And that’s why I think, despite all signs suggesting it won’t, Apple's next product should be a TV.


These are the best OLED TVs we’ve reviewed

We rate the best Dolby Atmos soundbars

Check out our picks of the best surround sound systems

Alastair Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Alastair is What Hi-Fi?’s editor in chief. He has well over a decade’s experience as a journalist working in both B2C and B2B press. During this time he’s covered everything from the launch of the first Amazon Echo to government cyber security policy. Prior to joining What Hi-Fi? he served as Trusted Reviews’ editor-in-chief. Outside of tech, he has a Masters from King’s College London in Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, is an enthusiastic, but untalented, guitar player and runs a webcomic in his spare time. 

  • Friesiansam
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    Apple’s got it’s fingers in a lot of pies, but it really should consider expanding into home cinema properly

    Apple should make an OLED TV next – here's why : Read more
    I'm sure if they thought it would be worthwhile, Apple would already be selling TVs...
  • manicm
    And another banal piece - from the editor of WHF no less. God help us all.