A report from Korea’s ETNews says that the OLED Touch Bar panel in the new MacBook Pro was made by Samsung, and that Apple is currently testing OLED panels suitable for use in MacBooks.

According to an industry [source], Apple installed Samsung Display’s OLED panel for touch screen bar for its new MacBook Pro. This panel is rigid-type OLED that is produced from Samsung Display’s A2 Line […]

“Apple is currently looking into ways of using OLED panels for MacBooks and testing their performance.” said a different representative.

It’s of course a no-brainer that Apple would be looking at a switch to OLED for future MacBook displays given the benefits these offer …

OLED is more power-efficient than LCD, as only lit pixels are powered, and losing the need for a backlight means that the display can be made considerably thinner. The Touch Bar is said to be three times thinner than an LCD equivalent would have been.

But while Apple currently used OLED displays for the Apple Watch and Touch Bar, and is expected to introduce it to at least some of next year’s iPhones, the case for laptop screens is less compelling. The fact that black areas of the screen don’t consume power is of much less benefit on laptops, where the default background color for most apps is white, and there are only limited areas of solid black.

It should be noted that the Korean press tends to emphasize positive stories for Samsung, and the angle of this piece is very much on the potential future business for the company, so it’s worth applying a little caution to the report. All the same, there’s no doubting Apple’s fondness for ever thinner MacBooks, and OLED also allows more vivid colors, so it is likely a question of when rather than if.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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