New M4 iPad Pro owners complain of grainy displays and there probably isn't anything Apple can do about it

iPad Pro with M4 chipset
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

After months of rumors it finally happened earlier this week. Apple's new best iPad, the M4 iPad Pro went on sale recently, and buyers have been rushing to Apple Stores and stalking porches ever since. But some people are already starting to report issues.

Aside from the strange iPad Pro HDR bug that we revealed in our review, this issue relates to the way the tablet's display appears grainy to some people. Images floating around social media show displays that appear grainy in certain lights and with darker images displayed.

However, it isn't yet clear whether this is a bug or just the way these displays behave and we may need more examples before we can be sure.

OLED or fault?

MacRumors was the first to spot posts across Reddit that complain of what appears to be a grainy display, particularly on darker images. However, it's possible that rather than being an issue as such, the 'grain' could simply be a characteristic of the displays being used.

Interestingly, the 11-inch displays that have exhibited this issue could well be parts produced by Samsung Display and this wouldn't be the first time Samsung has been involved with displays that behave this way. Some high-end Samsung AMOLED displays used in its smartphones have historically provided similarly grainy images, albeit not actual grain at all. Instead, it's possibly all down to the way these displays handle power management.

If that is indeed the case there are a couple of potential outcomes here. The first is that there is nothing that can be done and this is just a characteristic of these displays that people will ultimately get used to. The other is that Apple may be able to roll out a software fix that tweaks power management settings at the display level, but it remains to be seen what's actually going on here and whether that's something Apple can actually do.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.