When Apple's MacBook Air And MacBook Pro Might Finally Get An OLED Upgrade

apple macbook with oled hero
Samsung is making some very hefty investments in OLED display fabrication facilities. The South Korean tech giant has a big client lined up for all those luscious display panels – Apple. According to a senior analyst, the displays aren’t for tablets or smartphones either; they are destined for Apple MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models. This will be a major step up for Apple’s laptops and the touted 2026 timescale won’t be too soon as many PC/Windows rivals already sell machines with OLED panels.

Samsung’s plan is to invest 4.1 trillion won ($3.14 billion) between now and 2026 in Asan, South Korea. It intends to break ground, build, and open an OLED display plant at the location, but we aren’t sure whether it will be partly operational before the 2026 date, or if nothing will come out of the factory until then.

samsung display factory for OLED

Commenting on the Reuters news story, the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), Ross Young, tweeted that the new fab was specifically being built to supply Apple MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models from 2026 onwards. These are pretty solid sources, but we must still add a pinch of salt, as the deed isn’t done yet, and no official statements about the specific major purpose(s) of the plant have been made.

The DSCC CEO has some further interesting information for tech enthusiasts. He implies that Samsung isn’t resting on its laurels regarding OLED tech. It intends to pioneer new OLED fabrication technologies. Specifically, Young says the South Korean tech giant will apply a “new backplane approach and frontplane approach.” The purported benefits of this change are definitely attractive and claimed to bring lower costs and improved performance. As with any new technology there is of course an inherent risk that things don’t go to plan, in one way or another.

samsung display OLED benefits

Pre-2026 MacBooks With OLED?

So, the new MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch won’t get OLED until 2026 perhaps, but that doesn’t mean you will have to wait that long for the first MacBooks with OLED panels. DSCC’s Ross Young has previously stated that the MacBook Air could get an OLED display as soon as 2024. However, it will be using an older OLED tech according to his sources, and this upgrade may only come to the 13.4-inch model initially.

Apple Mac users will have to continue to look on at rival OLED laptops with a degree of envy for at least a year longer.