Rumormongers frequently make predictions about individual Apple products switching from LED to the more advanced OLED screen technology: the iPad Pro and MacBook Air, for example, are both expected to get the upgrade in 2024. But a new report goes a step further, indicating that almost all of the company’s devices will have OLED displays by the year 2027.
The forecast comes from the research company Omdia and was highlighted late last week by Bob Raikes of Display Daily. Omdia believes shipments of OLED displays in the IT market will increase from 9.7 million units in 2022 to more than 70 million in 2028, and that this growth will be catalyzed by wholesale adoption by Apple: in the iPad Pro in 2024, MacBooks in 2026, and finally in iMacs in 2027. By 2026, the firm predicts, Cupertino will have completely phased out the use of LED and mini-LED in its mobile devices.
While we’ve heard about OLED iPads and MacBooks before, the OLED iMac is a new rumor—and an exciting one. Specifically, Omdia claims that Apple is working on two new models: a 32-inch and a 42-inch model. According to the report, the 32-inch model with an LED screen will appear later this year before being replaced by an OLED model in 2027. And a whopping 42-inch OLED model will debut in 2027.
These are very big calls indeed: this doesn’t just ask the reader to believe that Apple will switch from one display tech to another in existing form factors, but that entirely new form factors are on their way and can be predicted based on displays market analysis. Apple currently sells a 32-inch ProMotion XDR display but has never offered a display as large as 42 inches. It’s also possible that these new screen sizes actually refer to standalone displays.
The switch to OLED is a logical one, given the advantages of OLED over standard LCD/LED (deeper blacks and greater contrast, wider viewing angles, lower power consumption, and the panels are thinner) and the fact that Apple has already moved to OLED in the Apple Watch and iPhone. But the case is complicated by the use of mini-LED tech in the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro and high-end MacBook Pro models, which has advantages of its own. It’s not clear that switching these devices to OLED would offer a substantial benefit, other than simplicity, but the report insists that this will happen.
It’s probably best to bear in mind, then, that reports of this sort are not infallible, being based on market trends rather than insider leaks, and that any multi-year prediction is subject to change. Apple probably is working on a general move from LED to OLED, but the specifics may end up being rather more complicated than such predictions tend to assume.