Apple May Be Shifting To OLEDs For All Laptops & Smaller Devices in Years to Come

What sets Apple aside from all the competition. Is it the premium nature or the luxury brand status that it has achieved? Or is it the superior hardware that they like to boast about? Well, to be honest, it’s a bit of both. While new tech pioneers like Samsung tend to push their products with the latest tech in the market, Apple treads a bit more differently.

To think, in the first iPhone, users could not shoot video from their CAMERA PHONE. Yes, people love to make fun of that fact. Meanwhile, other Android fanboys repel the Cupertino giants by making fun of the fact that Apple has finally introduced swipe functionality in their keyboards on iOS 13, calling it a huge feat.

Yes, Apple does tend to delay its features from the market by at least a year or so. We have yet to see a 48-megapixel camera from Apple, something that is becoming a norm among other manufacturers. Nor do we see an in-display fingerprint scanner. Perhaps that is Apple’s game. They test and they test until it’s features are fully developed and devoid of flaws. A good strategy in my opinion. But, don’t take my word for it, because I sit here, stating this on my MacBook while checking the time on my iPhone. Though, it should not be forgotten that Samsung tried to rush in with its Fingerprint Scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S5. In that context, I believe I speak for everyone when I say that no one really enjoyed that finger swipe mechanism.

Similarly, Apple was a little late to the market when it came to OLED displays. The iPhones, which were long criticized for their horrible battery life, could have benefited from the screens. Luckily enough, the new iPhones (except for the XR) support the displays.

Apple & OLED

Now, we move towards Apple’s relationship with its OLED displays. If you are reading this, you may already know that the two major producers of these displays are Samsung and LG. Apple, even though having a rough history in court with Samsung, is in contract with the company for its displays. Not only that, relationships like these include a contract made before-hand for the transactions to be done. Sadly though, since Apple isn’t doing so well with its iPhones lately, it has fallen back on its demand for said displays. According to ETNews, the Cupertino giants have to face a penalty for not fulfilling their end of the bargain.

Credits: Forbes
The iPhone XS bears an OLED Panel while XR has an LCD

That being said, Apple would definitely have to do something to fix the issue. According to the report, Apple aims to equip its new MacBooks and iPads with OLED displays in the future. This does not come as a shock as both these products are aimed to be pushed towards content creators, though, at different tiers. The upcoming MacBook Pro, which is rumored to be a 16-inch model was not seen this year but that just makes sure that we would see it in 2020. Given the fact that most major Youtubers are MacBook Pro users when on the go, this new model would be geared towards that. Not only that, but the new iPads, with the latest iPadOS would be used for similar purposes. With OLED displays, this would really make the devices irresistible.

Before moving onto the implications of the update, one should be familiar with what the difference between an OLED display and a normal LCD Display is.


While LCD technology is the older one, it functions differently as compared to OLED. The whole idea is how the technologies light up the displays that are powered.

When it comes to LCD panels, they have been around for longer than their counterpart. This also means better advancement in the technology and thus a cheaper manufacturing cost. Secondly, it differs for OLED in terms of lighting up the display itself. LCD panels light up the entire display (liquid crystal display). While this gives excellent brightness levels, in the past there have been cases of light leak in the display. Not only that, their lower cost makes them common among laptops and phones. No wonder Apple’s “budget” iPhone, the iPhone XR is relatively cheaper.

From Reddit
OLED vs LCD (OLED on the Right and LCD on the Left)

On the other hand, OLEDs are Organic Light Emitting Diodes. An extension of the LED systems which were introduced in the beginning, OLEDs offer a more warm display. In terms of functionality, they work in the same way. When compared to LCD panels, OLEDs are more energy efficient. While LCD Panels light up the entire display, OLEDs light up individual pixels according to the media displayed. This means that not every diode is active all the time. This results in better blacks and vibrant colors. In smartphones, this results in much better battery life. No wonder all manufacturers are introducing dark modes in their operating systems.


Now that we are somewhat familiarised with the differences between the two types of screens, the implications of Apple’s move should be quite apparent. With Apple equipping its MacBooks and iPads with OLEDs, we can expect better RGB and sRGB ratings. Something that would be quite perfect for designers and content creators. Apart from that, better battery life would always be welcomed. While MacBooks do have great battery life, it’s the iPads that take the cake. With moderate workflow, the iPad Pro easily lasts a day and then some. With these new screens, users can expect greater battery times. Apple has chosen the best time to normalize people with their dark mode. And who can blame them, the dark mode is so aesthetically pleasing. A big negative that comes with the news is the price tag. Apple has been known to overcharge for the simplest of features.

With the iPhone X, they increased the price from an 800$ phone to a 999$ one. Setting the trend for 1000$ flagships, it should not be ignored that these future devices would be expensive. Since this tech isn’t quite common for bigger displays, even laptops which support it are quite expensive. Such as Razer’s options which are a good 300-400$ more than the LCD panel. Anyway, these assumptions are all based on speculations and some rumored reports. As we grow closer to 2020, more of this would definitely unravel.

Sarmad Burki
Sarmad Burki is a Mathematician and a Economist with a passion for all things gaming and tech. His academics and professional experience combined with tech and gaming adds to his skills giving him a unique ability to observe the tech and gaming industry from various prespectives.