Apple is a pretty tough adopter of new technologies at the hardware level, and OLED displays are what its users look forward to on devices other than iPhones. Even though all of Apple’s new phone models have been based on OLED screens for more than two years now, and the first OLED models are already five years old, its tablets, laptops and desktops are yet to have a such screens. But Apple is apparently working on that, working with its partners to create a new kind of “hybrid OLED” panel.
Today’s OLED panels don’t live up to Apple’s standards
According to Digitimes Asia, Apple is working with its suppliers to create a new type of OLED panel that leverages the benefits of rigid OLED panels as well as flexible designs. Currently, the company uses flexible OLEDs on iPhones, but they have some limitations at larger sizes. Apparently the panels can “sag” if the diagonal exceeds a certain diagonal, which is why they are only suitable for smartphones, not much larger devices.
At the same time, rigid OLED panels do not have this problem, but are too fragile to be used on tablets or laptops. To make the transition to OLED on laptops, iPads and iMacs, Apple wants to create new flexible OLED panels without the risk of “crease”.
It’s unclear, however, what kind of panels competing companies are using that are already building OLED displays on tablets and laptops, and why Apple doesn’t want to buy those components for use in their products. Recently, the company has adopted Mini-LED screens with many lighting zones on laptops and the 12.9″ iPad Pro, but this is only a compromise solution, in the absence of panels. OLED meeting business requirements.
However, it looks like an iPad with OLED could arrive in 2023 at the earliest, likely the giant-screen 14″ iPad “Max” model announced a few months ago. However, since these new technologies could be delayed due to problems discovered during development, it is possible that the deadline will be extended until 2026.