Mini-LED is set to become the technology of choice for the backlighting of LC displays at Apple this year and next. After the iPad Pro with 12.9 inches, the mini-LED displays are also planned for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPad Pro with 11 inches.
A mini-LED screen is currently only available in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. 10,384 mini-LEDs distributed over 2,596 zones ensure selectively controllable backlighting of the panel and significantly better contrast values than with the previous Edge LED lighting that the 11-inch iPad Pro continues to use.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo assumes that Apple will also offer the small iPad Pro with mini-LED in the coming year after the company has been able to gain additional suppliers and thus eliminate delivery bottlenecks.
Compared to an OLED display, which has perfect black due to the technological properties of OLEDs, a mini LED display is much brighter. The screen of the iPad Pro 12.9 has a maximum typical brightness of 600 cd/m² and a maximum brightness of 1,000 cd/m² on the entire screen. The tablet achieves a peak brightness of 1,600 cd/m2 in HDR applications – this is not possible with OLED screens.
The use of a mini LED backlight is also expected for the new MacBook Pro. Investments in appropriate suppliers should also enable large-scale use in both 14 and 16-inch versions.
In parallel, Kuo has advanced details about the next MacBook Pro, which will include a new design, the absence of the TouchBar and a new generation of Apple Silicon processors.
While the new MacBook Pros are expected later this year, a new MacBook Air, also with a mini-LED display, will not be available until 2022. It will also arrive with the M2 chip and will include new colors similar to those of the 24-inch iMac.