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Declining MacBook revenue reportedly puts OLED upgrade at risk

Published May 10th, 2023 8:58AM EDT
2022 MacBook Air Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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In 2026, Apple is expected to switch from a miniLED display to a Gen 8 OLED panel for its MacBook Pro lineup. This is part of the company’s effort to upgrade most of its products to more efficient technology. Interestingly enough, a new report from The Elec suggests that the current poor revenue for Apple’s MacBook lineup might put Apple’s OLED MacBook upgrade at risk.

Last week, Apple reported a revenue drop in its MacBook line for the second quarter compared to the previous year. In the year’s first quarter, the company had a 31% drop and now a 29% YoY drop. On the other hand, the Cupertino firm has seen increased revenue for iPhone and iPad markets, showing that customers aren’t looking for a Mac offering at this moment.

With that in mind, the production of Gen 6 OLED panels for the 2024 iPad Pro seems safe, but the OLED MacBook Pro could be at risk, as this technology requires larger substrates, which Samsung and LG are yet to develop.

The Elec says that Samsung and LG are yet to “place orders for key equipment needed to build a Gen 8 OLED production line, sources said. If they want to begin supplying OLED panels made from these new facilities, they will need to place orders for equipment soon, considering display panel lines at least takes a year to complete.”

But with MacBook showing a drop in revenue, the two South Korean companies are hesitant on the spending plan on Gen 8 OLED as it is yet “undecided how much Apple will pay” for it. With low MacBook sales, that means that Cupertino firm wouldn’t order as many OLED panels as Samsung and LG would hope.

In addition, there’s a slow demand recovery for IT products, which peaked during the pandemic but has now dropped to new lows from the global economic downturn.

While Samsung could continue its plans to develop this Gen 8 OLED for the 2026 MacBook, LG can’t afford a low supply of panels from Apple.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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