Apple calls on Samsung, LG to bring OLED displays to MacBook and iPad

Apple calls on Samsung and LG to bring OLED displays to MacBook and iPad

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Some MacBook Pro wait times already stretch nearly to Christmas
But we'll be waiting years for the switch.
Photo: Apple

Apple has enlisted Samsung’s help in its effort to bring OLED displays to future MacBook and iPad models, according to a new report. It is also said to be in talks with LG, one of Samsung’s biggest competitors in the display industry.

It is believed Apple originally planned to launch its first OLED MacBook in 2025, but thanks to complications surrounding the display manufacturing process, the plan is “likely to be postponed,” sources familiar with the matter said.

Apple plans OLED MacBook upgrade

They might be bitter rivals in the mobile industry, but many of Apple’s most recent devices wouldn’t be possible — or as good — without Samsung’s help. The Galaxy-maker supplies a number of key components for Apple devices.

And it may become an even more integral part of MacBook and iPad manufacturing in the future, with Apple, Samsung, and LG reportedly in talks around a future switch to OLED displays for Cupertino’s larger mobile devices.

“Apple has begun talks with its South Korean panel suppliers on applying OLED panels to its MacBook line,” reports The Elec, citing sources familiar with the plan. But making the switch away from LCD and mini-LED won’t be easy.

“The biggest obstacle for Cupertino in applying OLED has been the cost,” the report explains. Apple wants to use a pricey “two stack tandem” design for the OLED panels, which allows them to be brighter and extends their lifespan.

A lengthy wait is in store

Cupertino reportedly sees this as a necessity for devices that tend to be used for a lot longer than smartphones, which typically use a single-stack display structure. Sources say it plans to use the same technology for iPad as well.

The problem with two-tandem displays is that is that they’re significantly more expensive, so Apple is calling on Samsung and LG to develop more affordable manufacturing processes before it makes the switch for MacBook and iPad.

“The iPhone maker has initially planned to launch its first MacBook with an OLED panel in 2025 but this plan is likely to be postponed,” the report warns. However, OLED iPad models could come sooner — in late 2023 or 2024.