Apple is adopting new technologies at the hardware level pretty hard, and OLED displays are what its users are waiting with bated breath for 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 desktop computers don’t yet have such screens. But Apple is apparently working on this, working with its partners to create a new type 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 takes advantage of the benefits of rigid OLED panels as well as flexible designs. Currently, the company uses flexible OLEDs on iPhones, but they have certain limitations at larger sizes. Apparently the panels can “sag” if the diagonal exceeds a certain diagonal, which is why they’re only good for smartphones, not significantly larger devices.
At the same time, rigid OLED panels don’t 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 “wrinkling.”
It’s unclear, however, what kind of panels competing companies are using that already integrate OLED displays on tablets and laptops, and why Apple doesn’t want to buy these components for use in their products. Recently, the company has adopted Mini-LED displays with many illumination areas on laptops and the 12.9″ iPad Pro, but this is only a compromise solution, in the absence of OLED panels that fit the company’s requirements.
However, it looks like an iPad with OLED could come in 2023 at the earliest, probably the huge-screened 14″ iPad “Max” model rumored a few months ago. However, given that such new technologies could be delayed due to problems discovered in development, it’s possible that the deadline could be extended to 2026.