You might want to think twice about upgrading your iPad Pro this year. A new report claims Apple could deliver a more significant refresh with brand-new display technology as early as 2020.
The same technology, which is expected to use approximately 10,000 tiny LEDs, could also appear in a new MacBook around the same time, according to one reliable analyst.
Rumor has it Apple is planning another hardware event for October. We’re expecting it to bring a refreshed iPad Pro lineup and perhaps even a radically redesigned MacBook Pro — among other things.
But there could be a big reason to hold onto your cash for a little while longer.
Mini-LED displays en route to iPad Pro
Ever-reliable TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will introduce its first mini-LED displays to iPad Pro and MacBook between late 2020 and mid-2021.
The new screens are believed to be big upgrades over the LCD panels used in existing Apple tablets and notebooks. They are thinner and lighter, more color-accurate, and offer higher contrast.
Mini-LED displays are also said to support local dimming. This allows the backlight behind certain areas of the screen to be lowered or deactivated entirely for true blacks.
This advantage makes mini-LED technology more like OLED than traditional LCD panels. But it is not susceptible to the same burn-in issues, which is particularly important for tablets and laptops.
Apple can give Samsung the boot
Choosing mini-LED over OLED also allows Apple to avoid buying more components from Samsung — its primary display-maker for flagship iPhone models.
Kuo says LG Display will be Cupertino’s main supplier of mini-LED panels. Epistar, Radiant Opto-Electronics, Avary Holding, and more will supply other components.
It is believed mini-LED screens will be introduced in iPad Pro first — easier in the fourth quarter of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021. They could then migrate to MacBook by the second quarter of 2021.
Mini-LED displays are more expensive to mass-produce than LCD screens at this time. It’s no surprise, then, that Kuo says high-end devices — like the iPad Pro — will get them first.