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Apple’s first OLED MacBooks are still years away, says report

Right now, the best MacBook Pro laptops come with Liquid Retina XDR displays packed with mini-LED tech, and they’re absolutely incredible. Yet despite their quality, there have been persistent rumors that Apple will switch to OLED screens. Well, we’ve got some bad news if you’ve been holding out for this change.

During a webinar with Bloomberg Intelligence (via MacRumors), display industry expert Ross Young claimed that MacBook Pros bearing OLED panels were still at least three years away from being released. That’s a long time to wait if you’re eager for Apple to make its incredible screens even better.

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air on a desk, with macOS Sonoma running on its display.

OLED displays boast fantastic brightness and contrast, deep blacks, and strong power efficiency that can improve battery life. If implemented in the MacBook Pro, they could help take Apple’s flagship laptops to new heights.

The problem is that it could take years for manufacturers in Apple’s supply chain to get ready to produce the OLED panels on the scale Apple needs, Young believes. Right now, they’re not in a spot to do that on a mass scale.

Young says that means we could be waiting until 2026 or even 2027 until the first OLED MacBook Pro models hit the shelves. That second date is even later than Young’s previous prediction for when OLED panels could debut in the MacBook Pro.

The perfect replacement?

An Apple MacBook Pro 14 sits open on a table.
Apple MacBook Pro 14 Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Thankfully, the situation is not a dire one because the MacBook Pro’s existing displays are already so good. When we reviewed the latest 14-inch MacBook Pro, we called its screen “unchallenged” in the world of laptops.

“There’s just no other laptop that has the entire package of brightness, color, and HDR performance,” our reviewer continued. “Even the recent glut of mini-LED and OLED gaming laptops coming out this year don’t get quite as bright as the 1,600 nits of the MacBook Pro.”

Because of that, Apple is presumably happy to take its time when it comes to OLED screens. After all, OLED tech isn’t perfect — it can be prone to burn in, for one thing — and Apple will want to address that before switching its laptop panels on such a large scale.

So, don’t expect Apple to rush in and replace an already excellent tech without ensuring its replacement is even better. If Apple is able to overcome OLED’s weaknesses, though, its displays could surge even further ahead of rival laptops.

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