Apple is reportedly betting big on OLED for iPads, MacBooks and more

Apple could have OLEDs in pretty much everything by 2027

iPad Air (2022)
(Image credit: Apple)

If you've ever wished your iPad or MacBook Air had the same crisp OLED display as your iPhone 14, a new report has good news for you: Apple's expected to go all-in on OLED starting next year, with almost everything sporting the Apple logo packing an OLED display by 2027.

That's according to OLEDInfo, which has been looking at the latest display forecasts from analyst firm Omdia. It expects shipments of OLED displays to increase from 9.7 million units last year (2022) to over 70 million units by 2028. And a lot of that increase, Omdia says, will be driven by Apple.

Which Apple products will get OLED displays next?

We've already heard that Apple intends to use OLEDs in the iPad Pro starting in 2024, and it's expected to move the MacBook line – starting with the MacBook Pro – to OLED displays in 2026. The report also says that Apple will begin using either QD-OLED or WOLED displays in the 32" and 42" Mac monitors, with LCD displays and mini-LED pretty much gone from all its mobile devices by 2026.

That's a huge shift, but it's been predicted for a long time: while mini-LED displays are brilliant (quite literally; they're famed for their exceptional brightness), they can't quite match the deep blacks of OLED panels, largely because they're still backlit. Where OLEDs can turn individual pixels off completely, mini-LED can only dim larger areas. Those areas are much more precise than in older LED displays, but no matter how good mini-LED gets it still can't deliver on a per-pixel level. OLED does, and on largely dark displays that lack of illumination can also mean less energy usage. OLEDs also deliver wider viewing angles and better contrast ratios.

There's another reason why Apple likes OLED. The panels tend to be significantly thinner and lighter than LED or mini-LED, and if there's one thing Apple likes it's to make its mobile devices as thin as it possibly can. If the rumours of a folding MacBook with a 20-inch touchscreen are more than just wishful thinking, you can be pretty sure it'll be packing OLED.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).