Despite some claims to the contrary, Apple hasn’t scaled back innovation across its Mac line. Sure, Apple’s event last week didn’t provide us with any updates regarding the iMac, Mac Pro or Mac Mini, but the recently unveiled Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro appears to be a huge step forward in usability.
Looking even beyond the upcoming MacBook Pro release, Apple is reportedly working on a few more surprises for its notebook line. According to a new report from ETNews, Apple is actively exploring outfitting upcoming MacBooks with OLED display panels. The news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that the aforementioned Touch Bar is an OLED panel and that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 will reportedly incorporate OLED panels as well.
According to one source claiming to be familiar with Apple’s plans, the company has already begun testing on MacBook units outfitted with OLED panels. There is, however, no clear timeline as to when Apple might introduce such a product.
The advantages of OLED panels are numerous: they are thinner, more energy efficient, and equally as important, they offer richer and more vivid colors relative to the LCD panels currently found on Apple’s notebook line. Apple of course has long been obsessed with battery life and thinness, thereby making a shift to OLED an obvious design direction for the company. That said, OLED panels do have some downsides, including higher manufacturing costs and a tendency for the vividness of the display to dull over time. Presumably, especially with Apple set to roll out an iPhone 8 with an OLED panel, Apple has come up with solutions to these roadblocks.
Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Apple in late 2015 set up a secret research laboratory in Taiwan where small teams of advanced engineers and scientists are actively researching the development of advanced display technologies that are “thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient.”