While the 2024 iPad Pro is confirmed to switch to an OLED panel, manufacturers are still unsure about producing new technology for a future MacBook Pro. This OLED MacBook Pro is expected to be released by Apple by 2026 or 2027, but despite the Cupertino firm’s effort to make the transition from miniLED to OLED, developing the 8th generation of this panel is costly, and only Samsung feels comfortable in leading this movement.
In LG Display’s Q2 earning announcement, the manufacturer says, “the announced 6th generation IT-related investments are proceeding as scheduled, and the investments will be made until the first half of the year,” which we can translate as LG has a big part in producing OLED panels for this iPad Pro.
However, regarding the 8th generation OLED panel, which will be used for the MacBook Pro, the manufacturer state that “nothing has been confirmed yet,” as it will “carefully look at the possibility and progress of the technology development and whether market demand is developing to a level that can contribute to the company’s profits before making an investment decision.”
UBI Research says that, unlike Samsung Display, LG has difficulties securing new line investment funds due to operation losses. That said, analysts still believe it will start supplying 8th gen OLED panels to Apple in 2026.
Both LG and BOE will enter the 8th gen OLED panel a little later than Samsung, as the South Korean company might get the first batch of the OLED MacBook Pro.
UBI Research says Samsung plans to apply Oxide to the TFT of the 8.6th generation IT line and build it with 2-stack RGB OLED. Canon Tokki will send its exposure machine to Samsung in April 2024, so production can finally start.
What makes LG Display cautious about investment in the 8th gen OLED panel technology is that despite its higher costs, Macs are not performing well. After the growth of MacBook sales during the pandemic – and Apple announcing its first M1 computers – the demand has weakened, and even the latest 15-inch MacBook Air is reportedly selling close to half of what Apple expected.
That said, if Apple can’t sell enough Macs, LG Display can’t justify this high investment, while Samsung, at least, has its own products to also applied this improved technology.
BGR will keep closely following supply chain stories for the latest Apple products.