Apple’s answer to OLED displays could be with us by 2020

Apple may release mini LED iPad Pro in 2020
(Image credit: Apple)

A research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that we can expect next-gen, mini-LED displays to begin appearing in iPads and MacBooks in late 2020.

Kuo's recent leaks (AirPods Pro earlier this year and iPad Pro and iPhone SE 2 more recently) have proved fairly accurate, but it's still important to note that this new tip is far from cold, hard fact.

The analyst originally broke the rumour that Apple was working on new, OLED-rivalling screen technology earlier this year, but prophesised that the models would probably come to market in either 2020 or 2021. The new memo suggests that everything's going well at Apple – Kuo predicts that the Cupertino giant will release both an iPad Pro and a 16-inch MacBook Pro with mini-LED screens as early as the end of next year.

According to Kuo (and as seen by 9to5Mac) the 12.9-inch iPad Pro update will come first and will also feature a new A14X processor, with the MacBook Pro following at a later date. Kuo also expects that Apple will release between four and six more mini-LED devices over the next two to three years.

Kuo claims that Apple is interested in mini LED panels specifically over OLED as they offer a rich wide color gamut, high contrast ratios, high dynamic range and localised dimming. Mini-LED tech could also result in thinner, more power-efficient panels – and they won't suffer from OLED burn-in issues. 

What is this specific screen tech that Apple seems to have adopted? Well, Mini-LED (sometimes called "sub-millimeter light emitting diode") refers to LEDs with a size of about 100 micrometers. As a technology in TVs, mini-LED sits approximately midway between traditional LED and MicroLED

When we know any official specs on screen resolution and an Apple product release date, we'll let you know. For now, we wait... 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.