Apple recently made the choice to integrate mini-LED screens in its MacBook Pros, but the manufacturer is still planning to use OLED screens. It would have started discussions with its main South Korean suppliers before, perhaps, making the big leap to micro-LED.
The MacBook Pro 2021 has just experienced a mini-revolution by acquiring a mini-LED screen. This screen technology has the wind in its sails on the side of Cupertino and it has already been seen on the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The mini-LED can bring, depending on its integration, deep blacks and high brightness. While more and more Windows PCs are choosing OLED, the Californian giant prefers to bet on an ambitious LCD technology. Still, Apple wouldn’t have completely given up on changing screen technology in the years to come.
The site The Elec ensures that the Apple brand has entered into discussions with Samsung and LG to integrate OLED screens on its future MacBooks. The two South Korean companies are among Apple’s main suppliers and the iPhone maker is said to have the ambition to launch its first MacBook equipped with an OLED panel in 2025. The project could however be delayed for reasons of cost and due to Apple’s requirements. OLED has many advantages that have allowed it to prevail on televisions, but the technology also has its drawbacks. Capable of expanding every pixel to produce truly black blacks, OLED has a shorter lifespan than LED. However, this can pose a problem for its use in a computer.
OLED for the iPad in 2023, but not before 2025 for the MacBook
To limit this problem, Apple would like to use OLED technology based on two emissive layers. This contribution would improve both the lifespan and the brightness, thus meeting the requirements of the company which needs a bright screen to convince professionals. According to The Elec, this step is considered necessary for tablets and PCs, as these products “Have a longer lifespan than smartphones”. However, the fact of using two emissive layers has the consequence of … doubling the price of materials. This element would curb the ambitions of the Apple brand which would also like to use OLED on its tablets. The iPad range could embed this technology from 2023 or 2024, according to our colleagues.
The 14 ″ and 16 ″ MacBook Pro 2021 are equipped with a mini-LED display. © Screenshot / Apple
In addition, the Nikkei recalls that medium-sized OLED screens intended for tablets and laptops pose bigger manufacturing problems than the small panels used by smartphones. These elements may explain the group’s decision to favor the mini-LED. This technology is not complex to produce and follows in the footsteps of current LCDs.
While the LCD may soon disappear completely from the iPhone, it will probably take a few years before Apple changes screen technology on its tablets and laptops.
Apple is already thinking about micro-LED
In addition to OLED, the Nikkei reports that the American group could set its sights on the micro-LED. Presented as the next revolution in terms of displays, the micro-LED is still very far from investing in consumer devices. Nevertheless, it is of interest to the entire sector and in particular Apple, which has invested in a factory specializing in the manufacture of micro-LED screens. The firm would also have set up a research program on this technology.