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This might be the new display for Apple’s rumored OLED MacBook Pro

Published Jun 25th, 2024 6:49PM EDT
2024 iPad Pro on a Magic Keyboard
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The M4 iPad Pro is about to have some slim company in Apple’s lineup. Various reports in recent months claimed that Apple is developing an iPhone 17 Slim/Ultra. Moreover, a big Apple Watch redesign is in the works for the Series 10 models. The wearable should be thinner than before. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman mentioned both of these devices in a recent report while adding that Apple also wants to make a thinner MacBook Pro.

As I explained recently, the size and weight of a computer is becoming increasingly important as I age. A thinner MacBook Pro would be a great development from Apple, as would a foldable tablet. Thanks to the M4 iPad Pro, we know that the screen is the key element to making such incredibly thin devices.

When I saw Gurman’s claim, I assumed a Tandem OLED panel like the ones Samsung and LG make for the M4 iPad Pro would help Apple achieve that goal. Wouldn’t you know it — LG Display just announced that it’s ready to manufacture Tandem OLED laptop panels.

Tandem OLED displays are screens that feature two OLED layers. The result is a panel that’s either brighter than before or more energy efficient. The screen is also more durable, extending the theoretical lifetime of a device. Add to that the incredibly thin package, and the Tandem OLED screen in the M4 iPad Pro is an incredible feat of engineering. A type of display that only Apple has used so far.

If reports are accurate, it’s a display technology that Apple requested from Samsung and LG. These screens are more expensive and more difficult to manufacture. That’s why LG’s announcement that it can make laptop-sized Tandem OLED panels is so important.

It’s a hint that the OLED MacBook Pro is getting closer than ever. And it could be a thin device, too.

LG's new Tandem OLED screen for laptops.
LG’s new Tandem OLED screen for laptops. Image source: LG

LG Display announced on Monday that it started mass-producing the industry’s first 13-inch Tandem OLED panel for laptops. It didn’t reveal what laptop vendor will use it. As a reminder, Apple no longer has 13-inch MacBook Pros in its lineup. The MacBook Pro would be the most likely Mac to get an OLED panel after the iPad Pro.

LG cites the various advantages of its Tandem OLED panel for laptops in its announcement, including the brightness, power efficiency, and size of the panel:

Now applied to laptops for the first time, LG Display’s new Tandem OLED panel has been tailored for laptop use. It can deliver double the lifespan and triple the brightness of a conventional single-layer OLED display, while reducing power consumption by up to 40%, making it ideal for high-performance IT devices like AI laptops as well as regular laptops.

By designing the components and enhancing the structure of the 13-inch Tandem OLED panel, LG Display has been able to make it around 40% thinner and 28% lighter than existing OLED laptop screens, enabling sleek design and greater portability.

Other specs include 2880 x 1800 WQXGA+ resolution and 100% of the DCI-P3 color standard. LG says the panel received the Display HDR (High Dynamic Range) True Black 500 certification from the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA).

“This confirms its ability to show both bright and dark images so well that it enhances their three-dimensionality and produces a display quality that is as close as possible to what the human eye naturally sees,” LG explains.

Finally, the 13-inch panel supports touch input, which makes it a good candidate for future Windows 11 flagship laptops. It’s unclear what those models will be.

That said, LG could always supply similar panels for Apple’s MacBook Pro in the not-too-distant future. We’ll just have to wait for LG to make Tandem OLED panels that would fit 14-inch, 16-inch, and even foldable devices.

I also assume Samsung isn’t too far behind. The company already manufactures Tandem OLED panels for the M4 iPad Pro.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.