I think Apple products with OLED displays will be (in order) an iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, THEN a MacBook Air

Upcoming iPad Pros and iPad Airs could be offered with matte screens for the first time.

Samsung Display is developing a 13.3-inch OLED panel for a future MacBook Air, according to the Korean site, The Elec. The article says Apple plans to bring OLED technology to other products including the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro.

However, don’t look for such products in the immediate future. The Elec says an OLED MacBook Air could be two years away.

The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks The Elec’s timetable is wrong. I think we’ll see an iPad Pro with an OLED display in spring of 2024, followed by an OLED MacBook Pro later that year.

I don’t expect an OLED MacBook Air until early 2025. Apple is rumored to be planning a 15-inch Air soon, but I don’t think there’s any chance it will sport such a display.

The biggest technological difference between OLED and LCD displays relates to how the pixels are illuminated. LCDs rely on an LED backlight for illumination while OLEDs provide individual pixel illumination to offer better color contrasts and viewing angles. 

However, these advantages come with drawbacks. Two distinct factors have hindered OLED adoption in the past. First is the large cost disparity between OLED and LCD panels. OLED panels are considerably more difficult to produce and are yet to reach the manufacturing scale of LCDs, leading to a higher cost per unit. 

Second is the reliability of OLEDs, as burn-in and pixel wear are more prevalent compared to LCDs, making them less suitable for the longer lifespan of tablets. However, Counterpoint says these two issues are likely to be resolved in the near future with falling manufacturing costs and the introduction of new technologies, like the two-stack tandem OLED structure that provides 4x durability and 2x brightness when compared to existing OLED displays. 

Leading display manufacturers have already started increasing their OLED production capacities. LG Display is doubling its output by increasing the capacities at the Paju and Guangzhou plants. Counterpoint says this will ultimately lead to a reduction in the per-unit cost of OLED panels.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.