Apple is widely expected to launch at least two new MacBooks this year, the successors of the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch Pro models. Reports also detail an exciting 15-inch MacBook Air that might hit stores in 2023, alongside refreshed Mac mini and Mac Pro desktops. But these devices should not deliver any significant breakthroughs beyond the custom M2-based chips Apple has developed for them.
Come early 2024, Apple could bring a massive update to its MacBook lineup if analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s information is correct. The renowned Apple leaker explained over a few tweets that Apple is working on bringing OLED screens to the MacBook line as soon as next year.
Apple introduced mini-LED screen technology for laptops with the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The 2023 successors should rock the same screen tech. But reports in the past few years claimed that Apple has been working on OLED panels suitable for iPad and MacBook use. Apple first brought mini-LED screens to the iPad Pro.
That’s why Kuo’s claims aren’t surprising. Many reports say that Apple’s next significant display upgrade involves OLED screens for laptops and tablets. But it’s still unclear how Apple would handle the mix of screens between LCD, mini-LED, and OLED options. Also, most rumors failed to mention specific iPad or MacBook models that would receive the OLED treatment. Some claim the MacBook Air might be the first.
Kuo explained on Twitter that Samsung Display plans to raise the number of OLED panel shipments for laptops this year. The supplier targets 70% growth over 2022, looking to ship between 6 million and 7 million OLED panels. It’s unlikely that any of these screens will go to Apple’s MacBooks, considering Kuo’s following remarks.
“Compared to mini-LED, laptops that use OLEDs have the advantage of being thinner and lighter and offering more diverse form factor design options, like folding, so it has caused Apple to plan to ship the OLED MacBook by the end of 2024 at the earliest,” the insider wrote.
Kuo indicates that Apple adopting OLED panels for MacBooks will also fuel the growth of OLED laptop shipments in the coming years.
Like previous reports detailing Apple’s interest in larger OLED panels, Kuo did not mention specific products. Apple could always reserve OLED panels for the MacBook Pro or use them in thinner and lighter Air models. Another option is a MacBook/iPad contraption featuring a foldable screen. But that’s just speculation at this point.