Apple is reportedly working on its first OLED MacBook – and analysts predict it could arrive as early as next year.
The news comes by way of reliable tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims in a new Twitter thread that the greater design freedom afforded by OLED display technology “has caused Apple to plan to ship the OLED MacBook by the end of 2024 at the earliest.”
Apple currently uses mini-LED panels in its MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) and MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) laptops, but Kuo believes the company’s switch to OLED panels will fuel a “surge” in OLED laptop sales over the coming years.
(5/6)Compared to mini-LED, laptops that use OLEDs have the advantage of being thinner and lighter and offering more diverse form factor design options, like folding, so it has caused Apple to plan to ship the OLED MacBook by the end of 2024 at the earliest.January 11, 2023
Why is Apple keen to transition to OLED? For one, OLED panels are thinner and lighter than their mini-LED counterparts, which gives manufacturers the freedom to create sleeker laptop designs. They’re also a more appropriate option for foldable displays – and previous rumors have hinted that Apple is already hard at work on a foldable 20-inch MacBook.
This isn’t the first time Kuo has speculated about the development of an OLED MacBook; both he and fellow analyst Ross Young have hinted at the prospect before. But Kuo has never made mention of a time frame until now, and his “end of 2024” suggestion marries up with Young’s own prediction as to when this mysterious OLED MacBook could arrive.
Neither Kuo nor Young claims to know whether Apple’s in-development MacBook is a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, although the latter has stated that the laptop will use a technique called "tandem stack," which could decrease its power consumption by up to 30%, increase its brightness, and extend its lifespan.
A display of evolution
Ironically, Apple looks set to begin moving away from OLED technology in its pocket-sized product categories. According to new rumors, the tech giant is committed to bringing micro-LED display technology to future iPhone and Apple Watch models.
Per a report by Bloomberg’s resident Apple expert Mark Gurman: “The next-generation [Apple Watch displays] are designed to offer brighter, more vibrant colors and the ability to be better seen at an angle. The displays make content appear like it’s painted on top of the glass, according to people who have seen them, who asked not to be identified because the project is still under wraps.”
In other words, the next Apple Watch Ultra (and, as Gurman suggests, future iPhones) will be seriously, seriously bright. It makes sense, then, that Apple could be looking to introduce an OLED MacBook around the same time as its first micro-LED-equipped Apple Watch.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.