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Hoping for a MacBook Pro with OLED? You might need to be really patient

Apple MacBook Pro models with OLED screens have been delayed to 2027, we’re told in a new report – although the iPad Pro is still on target to get these fancy displays next year.

The report is from Korean tech site The Elec (via 9 to 5 Mac), a source of a good many hardware rumors, and it cites Omdia, a market research firm that made these revelations at a recent conference.

The theory as mentioned is that the first OLED MacBook is not going to pitch up for four years yet – a long old wait indeed – although we must sprinkle this with plenty of seasoning, and remember it’s just a prediction anyway.

Previously, Omdia notes that the expectation for OLED-toting MacBook Pro models was that they should turn up in 2026, but seemingly that has been pushed back another year.

The better news from this crystal ball gazing session is that Apple is on schedule to bring OLED to the iPad Pro next year, both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models.

We’re told that mass production of those iPads will kick off in Q1 of 2024.

Analysis: There’s still the MacBook Air, though… right?

This is clearly disappointing news for those hoping to get OLED on their MacBook Pro in the future, but we need to put the brakes on a bit here before getting carried away with the pessimism.

Long range predictions like this need extra care. The further out the forecast, the more skepticism we should apply for obvious reasons, as there are doubtless a lot of factors and moving parts with decisions involving the design of MacBooks that are more than a generation away.

That said, this does broadly chime with what we’ve heard about the MacBook Pro in recent times – namely that it won’t get OLED until 2026. That rumor came from display industry analyst Ross Young, a respected source for all things Apple, and it’s entirely possible that further delays might have been encountered to drive the timeline back another year.

What’s a bit of a head-scratcher here is The Elec report talks about 2027 being the “first OLED MacBook release date” (unless something has been lost in translation from Korean), and as far as we’re aware, the MacBook Pro won’t be the Apple laptop to debut with OLED.

We’ve heard in the past that the MacBook Pro is not a priority for Apple when it comes to OLED upgrades, and that we’ll likely get a MacBook Air with the new display tech pitching up first. Rumor has it that’ll land next year (along with those iPad Pro models). Again, that’s a prediction from Young, and also Ming-Chi Kuo, another heavyweight Apple leaker.

If what you’ve got your heart set on is a MacBook Pro equipped with an OLED screen, though, well, you’ve potentially got a long, long time to save up for that purchase. Indeed, price may well be a factor in the decision to delay OLED for the Pro, given that MacBook sales are currently flagging. As The Elec points out, MacBook production is set to be cut substantially this year, with a drop of around 20% in laptops manufactured by Apple compared to 2022.

That’s quite a slowdown, and hiking prices for already expensive MacBook models (which OLED would surely involve) is probably not a strategy Apple wants to contemplate going forward, not for the time being.

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