Rumors about the development of a MacBook Pro OLED have been circulating for some time, and we're inclined to give them some credence.
Apple hasn’t said anything official, but several sources claim the Cupertino-based tech giant will eventually release MacBooks with OLED panels. Given the unofficial nature of these reports, it’s anyone’s guess when these purported laptops might launch — or if they’ll ever manifest at all.
While we don’t have anything concrete regarding OLED MacBook Pros, the frequent rumors make us suspect Apple is at least considering manufacturing such laptops. Here’s everything we’ve heard about OLED MacBook Pros so far.
MacBook Pro OLED: Rumored release date
According to Ross Young, CEO of research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants, OLED MacBook Pros are coming — but you'll be waiting a while. Speaking during a webinar with Bloomberg's Woo Jin Ho, he claimed that we’re still at least three years away from these products launching.
Why so far in the future? According to Young, it comes down to the supply chain. It appears it will take Apple’s partners a few years to build out the capability to mass-produce laptop-sized OLED displays. Because of that, Young says we won’t see a proper rollout of these new panels until 2027 at the latest.
This somewhat contradicts reports from 2022 where Young claimed OLED MacBooks would arrive in 2024. Ross also said a MacBook Pro with OLED might launch in 2026. While MacBooks might not get OLED panels until 2027 according to this latest report, Ross still says the first OLED iPads are coming in 2024.
MacBook Air OLED
In addition to OLED MacBook Pros, we've also heard rumors about potential MacBook Air laptops with OLED panels. I wanted to briefly discuss that rumor here since it's related to OLED MacBook Pros.
Back in April of 2023, we reported that a MacBook Air OLED could arrive before a new MacBook Pro OLED. According to The Elec (via MacRumors), Samsung Display is developing a 13.4-inch OLED panel for an upcoming model of the MacBook Air.
According to the report, Apple chose Samsung Display over LG Display since the latter is reportedly developing OLED displays for the next-gen 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models and doesn’t have enough production capacity for the MacBook Air. The Elec claims Apple wants to sequentially launch the new iPad Pro, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with OLED displays.
This is speculation on my part, but if OLED MacBook Pros supposedly launch in 2027, then I don’t see an OLED MacBook Air arriving in 2024. It seems more logical to launch OLED MacBooks closer than three years apart. If, for example, Apple releases an OLED MacBook Air in the spring of 2026, then an early 2027 launch for OLED MacBook Pros makes more sense. But again, this is speculation.
MacBook OLED: Other rumors
Beyond the persistent reports of MacBooks being developed with OLED panels, we haven’t heard many rumors about these laptops’ possible specs or design. We can guess they’ll pack whatever Apple's latest M-series chips are at that time, but it's unclear if MacBooks will receive an updated design.
According to Young, these OLED displays would use what he has coined a “tandem stack.” This novel technology stacks two red, green and blue (RGB) light-emission layers on top of each other for increased brightness and improved power efficiency.
Other than the mini LED-equipped 12.9-inch iPad Pro, MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch models, most MacBooks and iPads still sport LCD displays. The iPhone 15 family and the Apple Watch 9, with their smaller displays, use OLED already, so it's hardly surprising to see Apple want to adopt this tech for their larger products as well.
One interesting tidbit is that The Elec claims the development of a 13.4-inch OLED panel for the MacBook Air is supposedly a test for mass production of MacBook Pro models with OLED panels.
OLED MacBooks are rumored at best, meaning you should take everything we’ve detailed above with healthy skepticism. If what we’ve heard is true, we likely won’t see these laptops manifest until 2027 at the earliest.
That said, the prospect of OLED MacBooks is exciting. The mini-LED displays found on the current MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch deliver vibrant images, they don’t have the deep contrast of OLED panels. Though OLED burn-in could be a concern, the benefits of OLED tech are too good to ignore.
We’ll update this page as we hear more reports so be sure to check back soon.