Apple has introduced Samsung Display’s OLED panels for its new MacBook’s touch bar. Apple is currently looking into using OLED rather than LCD for its MacBook’s display along with iPhones. Just like Smartphones, shift in generation from OLED to LCD will get stronger for laptops as well. Changes in dynamics of display markets are also expected due to alliance between Apple and Samsung Display.
According to an industry on the 31st, 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. It is heard that Driver IC was supplied by Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business Department and that its design was partially changed to link between a laptop and a touch bar.
OLED touch bar that is newly introduced by a new MacBook Pro is located on top of a keyboard and performs variety of functions. It performance functions of previous Function key, and these functions change depending on programs that are running.
Samsung Electronics, Dell, HP, and Lenovo had introduced laptops with OLED panels rather than LCD panels this year. Although these laptops implemented strengths of OLED such as clear quality and thinness, these laptops that usually use white background have difficulties in implementing OLED’s distinct black color and use a lot of electricity as they use white screen most of times.
Apple has partially used OLED panels for only touch bar and not for entire panel. Because MacBook implements black screen as a basic option, Apple can enjoy strengths of OLEDs such as clear quality, low electricity consumption, and fast response speed.
“A reason why Apple has applied OLED panel to MacBook Pro’s touch bar is due to thickness of OLED panel.” said a representative for an industry. “Due to OLED panel’s structure, its thickness is three times thinner than LCD panel that has BLU (Back-Light Unit).”

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<CEO Tim Cook of Apple is explaining Apple’s new MacBook Pro. (Picture = The Electronic Times database)>

“Yearly shipment of Apple’s MacBook series is number 5 in global laptop markets and considering area of OLED panel that is installed within MacBook Pro, this won’t have too much effect on sales of Samsung Display.” said a different representative. “However it is meaningful that display panel that is introduced as a characteristic of a new product is an OLED panel.”
Apple is looking to use OLED display rather than LCD display for its future MacBook series and it is actively expanding uses of OLED displays for its major products.
“Apple is currently looking into ways of using OLED panels for MacBooks and testing their performance.” said a different representative.
Display industries are predicting that OLED panels will become more popular when iPhones with OLED panels appear in Smartphone markets. As it is heard that Apple is installing OLED panels into its future iPhones, number of new products with OLED panels with Chinese Smartphone manufacturers at the center has quickly increased. When MacBooks with OLED panels appear in markets, changes in dynamics of laptop markets can also start as well.
Changes of structure of Apple’s major partners are also inevitable. It is inevitable that more of supplies will come from Samsung Display that is centered on small and medium-sized OLEDs rather than LG Display that has been supplying high-resolution LTPS (Low-Temperature Poly-Silicon) LCDs. LG Display can minimize possible damage by quickly establishing mass-production system for small and medium-sized OLEDs.
SiliconWorks, which is LG’s fabless semiconductor business, is also predicted to receive similar damage as it has been supplying LCD Driver ICs for iPhones.
Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin | & Staff Reporter Lee, Jongjun | & Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop |