MacBook Pro with OLED display tipped for 2026 release

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023
(Image credit: Future)

It could be a three-year wait for OLED displays on 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops, according to display analyst Ross Young

Citing a Reuters report that detailed a $3.1 billion investment in OLED production in Asan, South Korea by Samsung Display, Young said the facilities that’ll be funded will be used to make OLED displays for 2026 MacBook Pro models. 

That’s quite a far-reaching prediction in the world of tech, but Young does have a track record of accurate forecasts and tips. 

So it could be a long-ish wait for a MacBook with an OLED, or at least on the Pro side, as an OLED MacBook Air is expected to arrive first in 2024. This might sound odd, given one would expect the more premium machines to get the best display tech first.

But the current MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro both have access to mini-LED displays, which arguably offer a better screen than those on OLED laptops in terms of peak brightness, while also avoiding the risk of burn-in.

Furthermore, making smaller OLED displays is more cost effective than larger ones, which is why you’ll find OLED screens on the best phones and not many of the best laptops. So putting an OLED panel on a 13.5-inch MacBook Air display would make sense for Apple, especially as the current MacBook Air M2 is stuck with LCD panel tech; its display is very nice but not quite as stunning as some OLED laptop screens.

A case for OLED MacBook Pros

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 showing home screen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

MacBooks of all varieties have long had excellent screens, with Apple’s Retina displays offering accurate colors, good brightness and contrast, making them very good for professional creative work like photo and video editing. 

But screen technology has advanced a fair bit and OLED displays are no longer eye-wateringly expensive. So it would be likely that OLED screens will be on Apple’s laptop roadmap. 

I really hope this is the case, as I’ve recently been using the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360, which has a very lovely OLED display. It’s awesome seeing it in comparison to the LCD displays on other laptops, even the impressive ones on the likes of my MacBook Air M2 and the Surface Laptop 5’s PixelSense display. 

There’s a richness to colors on OLED displays, as well as true blacks, which really sucks one in, even if it’s just glancing over a webpage or absorbing the constant popping of Slack messages. Battery life takes a hit, but that’s arguably a compromise worth making for such a striking screen. 

I imagine Apple will be waiting until it can get super-efficient OLED displays before making the jump to such screen tech; Apple tends not to be first with technology but is often better at integrating it than its rivals. 

If we have to wait until 2026 for OLED MacBook Pros then I’m optimistic that they’ll be incredibly optimized and tuned almost to the extent to set a new standard for laptop screens. 

In the meantime, if you want some excellent displays, check out our best monitors round up as well as our selection for the best OLED TVs

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.