Apple will launch a new high-end MacBook and iPad models in late 2020 and mid-2021 featuring Mini-LED displays. The claim has been made by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest note for TF International Securities.
The analyst notes that the new Mini-LED displays Apple will use on the iPad and MacBook will feature 10,000 LEDs with a thickness of less than 200 microns. For comparison, Apple is using only 576 LEDs in its upcoming Pro Display XDR.
Apple is expected to skip OLED panels for its MacBook and iPad lineup and jump directly to Mini-LED. Compared to OLED panels, Mini-LED panels offer support for a wider color gamut and are capable of reaching higher brightness levels. They also support local dimming in which the black parts of the display are turned off to further boost the brightness of the display area that’s displaying some content. This will be useful while watching HDR content as the extra details will then be easily noticeable.
Another advantage of Mini-LED displays is that it will allow for thinner and lighter product designs.
More importantly, Mini-LED does not suffer from burn-in issues like OLED panels. The move will also help reduce Apple’s reliance on Samsung, the sole OLED panel supplier in the market. The company is already sourcing OLED panels for the iPhones from Samsung and it would not like to further depend on it for iPad and MacBook displays.
LG Display will supply Apple with Mini-LED panels, with other components being supplied by Epistar, Nichia, TSMT, Zhen Ding, and others.
Since Mini-LED displays are going to be expensive, Apple is expected to use them only in the high-end iPad and MacBook models. What this means is that we are likely going to see Apple use Mini-LED displays on its iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models first. The company is due to unveil the 16-inch MacBook Pro next month which it could have used as a test-bed for Mini-LED displays but looks like that’s not going to happen.