MacBook Pro with mini-LED display could land this year in 2 sizes

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Save on 13.3-inch MacBook Pro from 2020
The big refresh could be just months away.
Photo: Apple

Apple is teaming up with two new suppliers to bring mini-LED displays to MacBook Pro later this year, according to a new report. The next-generation machines are expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes.

It could be as soon as September. One of the suppliers, who is investing to increase production capacity during the third quarter, is already manufacturing mini-LED screens for the newest 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Mini-LED displays are far superior to the LCD screens Apple has longed used in most of its devices. They offer many of the advantages of OLED panels, like deeper blacks, but without the potential problem of burn-in.

Bringing mini-LED technology to iPad Pro this year, after transitioning almost all iPhone models to OLED, signaled Apple’s intention to move away from LCD screens for all devices. That includes the Mac.

A new report suggests the MacBook Pro will be Apple’s first notebook to make the switch.

Mini-LED MacBook Pro could land this year

“Zhen Ding Technology and Tripod Technology have both entered the supply chain for Apple’s upcoming miniLED-backlit MacBook series,” reports Digitimes, citing industry sources familiar with the move.

Zhen Ding already produces mini-LED displays for iPad Pro. The company is scheduled to complete a “second-phase” investment to increase its production capacity during the third quarter of 2021, the report adds.

“As to Tripod, it has cleared Apple’s validations for equipment and capacity at its new plant in China’s Xiantao, Hubei province,” the report said. The company reportedly will begin production of mini-LED screens in the third quarter.

Those screens are expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes. This lines up with a growing number of rumors claiming Apple plans to replace the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a slightly larger model.

Late in the third quarter

The report claims Apple will bring its next-generation notebooks to market late in the third quarter of this year. That suggests a September debut. The fifth-generation machine, the first with a Magic Keyboard, landed in November 2019. Its M1 successor arrived last October.

Earlier rumors indicated Apple would unveil the redesigned laptops at this spring’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, the MacBook Pro refresh did not arrive.