Apple’s future MacBook Air could come with an OLED display

New reports indicate Samsung Display has started development of a 13.4-inch OLED panel for a future version of the MacBook Air.

Apple’s product roadmaps for the iPad and MacBook involve a lot of OLED screens, if rumors are any indication. We’re expecting the first OLED-equipped iPad Pros to debut sometime next year, with OLED MacBook Pros soon afterward. Now, new reports are pointing to an OLED-equipped MacBook Air entering development, with a slightly larger panel and lower-quality tech.

According to The Elec, Samsung Display has begun developing the OLED screen for Apple’s future MacBook Air, which will use a single-stack design instead of the more modern Two-Stack Tandem design. This basically means the Air will be missing a secondary RGB layer–which the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro are expected to get–which will result in reduced brightness and slightly less endurance (a.k.a. sooner burn-in) over time. Of course, given the Air’s display will likely be super thin like it is today, it makes sense that it’ll only get a single RGB layer.

In a separate post, famed analyst Ross Young says he too believes an OLED MacBook Air is on the way, but with a slightly larger 13.4-inch panel than the current 13.3-inch screen size. He also suggests the Air will be the first MacBook to get OLED, with Apple’s primary focus being on tablets at first and moving to laptops in 2026. That lines up with other expectations from leakers like Ming-Chi Kuo who believe the flexibility of OLED panels are better suited for thin-and-light devices like the Air, giving Apple the perfect excuse to release it on a cheaper MacBook instead of making it a “Pro” feature right off the bat.

Right now, Apple uses a blend of LCD and Mini LED for its displays across the iPad and MacBook lines, and a switch to OLED would certainly shake things up. So far, the only Apple products that include OLED screens are the iPhone and Apple Watch.

It’s hard to say whether Apple will pivot entirely in the direction of OLED once it starts rolling it out across the iPad and MacBook lines. For a while, it seemed that Mini LED would be Apple’s future in the display tech world, given its success on the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. But it’s not as versatile as OLED; it still requires a separate backlight, whereas OLED allows each pixel to light up by itself. This means that the panel would not only be thinner, but also flexible and better equipped to fit in thin-and-light form factors like the MacBook Air.

We’ll have to wait to see how these rumors shake out, but all signs seem to point to the Air getting an OLED screen eventually. It’s just a matter of time until we know for sure.