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MacBooks and iPads may have a very slow transition to OLED

Apple has been making strides in the display quality of recent iPads and Macs, but has yet to dip into OLED. A recent report from The Elec suggests Apple might collaborate with LG to supply OLED display panels for iPads and MacBook models to be released in the coming years.

These devices aren’t scheduled for an immediate launch, however, the publication details that Apple would likely unveil two OLED two iPads before announcing its first OLED MacBook.

The screen of the 2021 MacBook Pro.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The iPads might be 11-inch and 12.9-inch models featuring Gen 6 OLED panels. The OLED material LG plans to use on the iPad will allow them to be manufactured in less time, according to The Elec.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, has also backed up the rumors, suggesting that the 11-inch and 12.9-inch OLED iPads might release sometime in 2024 at the earliest. Meanwhile, the upcoming MacBook might feature 8.5 OLED panels and release in the 2025 time frame.

I think the release date of the OLED MacBook is mainly dependent on the schedule of iPad’s adoption of OLED. MacBook would use OLED in 2025 at the earliest if Apple could successfully release 12.9-inch & 11-inch OLED iPads in 2024.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 17, 2022

LG might begin mass-producing LTPO OLED panels for iPads in 2023, if not 2024. The Elec claims LG has been vetting one of its factories in Paju, South Korea, since December 2021 to manufacture Gen 8.5 OLED panels, likely for the rumored MacBook. The factory has already been connected to rumors of LG’s involvement in OLED iPads and iPhones, according to MacRumors.

OLED MacBooks aren’t the only future projects Apple is reported to be delving into currently. Kuo and fellow analyst Ross Young have detailed that the brand has a concept for a foldable MacBook with a 20-inch display and a resolution of at least 4K.

The device is intended to be a cross between a MacBook and an iPad while having a completely touchscreen keyboard. While there is no word on which company would be manufacturing the foldable display for this product, LG is also active in the flexible display industry, having announced products such as its rollable OLED TV.

If the device came to fruition, it might not end up releasing until 2026 or 2027.

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Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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