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An OLED MacBook could still be years away

Apple is still planning on launching MacBook models with an OLED display, but it still be around five years away, according to a new report.

A report from South Korean publication The Elec, Apple is in negotiations with Samsung and LG over supply of OLED displays two-stack tandem structure for both MacBook and iPad Pro models.

Sources told the publication – which has a good record of predicting matters pertaining to companies on home soil – Apple had planned its first OLED in 2025, but that is now likely to be pushed back.

According to the report, cost is the biggest obstacle for Apple as it seeks to preserve the life of the display with the double stack method, which results in doubling the cost of creating the panel.

The report says: “The structure stacks two layers of red, green and blue emission layers, which doubles luminance and extends the panel’s life span. It also needs thin-film transistor (TFT) technology that acts as switches for the pixels. This technology is considered needed as tablets and PCs have a longer life compared to smartphones.”

Apple is still considering whether to use two-stack tandem LTPO TFT panels for MacBooks or whether to use oxide TFT, the report said. The first OLED iPad Pro models are expected in 2023 or 2024 are expected to deploy the latter, which could save some money, sources said.

The report said LG already has some production capabilities for the OLED panels for tablets and laptops, while Samsung Display will have to build a new line.

If the report is accurate, those holding off on an upgrade in the hopes of an MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with an OLED display might reconsider their restraint. Apple just launched the new MacBook Pro with M1 Max and M1 Pro Apple Silicon processors, while a redesigned MacBook Air with a new M2 processor is likely to arrive in the second half of 2022.

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