Apple is in discussions to move to a new two-stack tandem structured OLED display for future MacBooks with both Samsung & LG Display
In mid-August, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Display Suppliers Samsung and LG are moving to 8th-Gen OLED Display Panels for iPhones, iPads and MacBooks." Then in mid-September we posted a report titled "The technology behind Next-Gen OLED Panels for iPads and MacBooks is in the works that will deliver thinner sharper Displays." Today, a new supply chain report claims that Apple has begun talks with its South Korean panel suppliers on applying OLED panels to future MacBooks – likely its pro models.
The biggest obstacle for Apple in applying OLED has been the cost. It is attempting to applying a two-stack tandem structure on the panel it procures from Samsung and LG.
Yet in early October, Patently Apple posted a report titled "After the OLED display Project with Samsung for iPads was cancelled, LG is now developing the OLED panel that Apple originally demanded." The reasoning for cancelling the OLED project with Samsung was that they weren't willing to develop a two-stack tandem structure that Apple had demanded whereas LG was willing to accommodate Apple's request.
The new report by The Elec this morning is claiming that "Samsung Display is also taking part in a similar project with Cupertino to develop the panels. Its previous project with Apple to develop a 10.86-inch OLED iPad was canceled."
The iPads sporting OLED panels is expected to now launch in late 2023 or 2024. Apple is planning to apply two-stack tandem LTPO TFT on its first OLED iPads that will come in 12.9-inch and 11-inch sizes.
Technically speaking, the proposed structure stacks two layers of red, green and blue emission layers, which doubles luminance and extends the panel’s life span. It also needs thin-film transistor (TFT) technology that acts as switches for the pixels. This technology is considered needed as tablets and PCs have a longer life compared to smartphones.
Apple is reportedly planning to use oxide TFT instead of TFT for other IT products after the first OLED iPads. Using oxide TFT will save costs, but for the panel to support high resolution, protection circuits will be needed to be added on the module. This can be another cost problem and the panel may be more prone to overheat.
Apple is still mulling which option to choose for the OLED panels it will apply to MacBook and other of its IT products besides smartphones and tablets, the people said.
The final decision Apple makes for its OLED panel roadmap will affect where Samsung Display and LG Display decides to spend next in terms of facilities.
If Apple decides to use oxide or LTPO TFT or two-stack tandem on its OLED panels for its IT products, Samsung and LG Display will need to build new lines to accommodate this.