12 March 2020
Apple is reportedly planning to release new high-end iPad and MacBook models featuring mini-LED display panels. The report is based on the latest research notes shared by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He is predicted that Apple will release these products anytime between late 2020 to mid-2021.
This new iPad and MacBook models will have display panels with 10,000 LEDs with an individual thickness of fewer than 200 microns. The LED count is much higher than Apple's upcoming Pro Display XDR which features only 576 LEDs. Even the LED size is said to be significantly smaller on minI-LED displays. These differences are likely to help Apple offer lighter and thinner products which will be appreciated by users as well. These panels are also known for offering wide color gamut support, high contrast, HDR, and local dimming.
Apple currently uses OLED displays on its high-end iPhones but is eager to make a direct jump to mini-LEDs for MacBooks and iPads. There are a few important reasons behind Apple's interest in such a move and skipping OLEDs altogether. The two biggest reasons are avoiding display burn-in issues that are common with OLED panels after a long usage and reducing its dependency on Samsung which is the only OLED panel supplier in the market.
With mini-LED displays, Apple will be able to work with different suppliers where LG Display will be the main supplier for display panels. All other display components will be supplied by the likes of Epistar, Zhen Ding, Radiant Opto-Electronics, Nichia, Avary Holding, and TSMT.
Since mini-LED components are currently expensive to procure, Apple is believed to make use of them in only high-end variants i.e. the likes of iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. This naming scheme is purely speculative at this moment and we will share more details as we will get to know more.