Rumors that Apple will transition its iPad line to mini-LED panels have been circulating for quite a while now – the (rumored) launch was originally targeted for late 2020, but that was pushed back to this year. And it may finally be happening.
DigiTimes reports that Ennostar will start mass producing mini-LED panels at the end of this quarter (i.e. March). This lines up with the unofficial info that new iPad Pros (11 and 12.9 inch) will be unveiled in March.
The Pro tablets are said to be the first to adopt mini-LED, to be followed by MacBooks (the upcoming 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros, perhaps, but that’s not certain). The company has also long been reported to be interested in another technology, micro-LED, for its wearables (and perhaps one day for iPhones too).
What’s the difference between mini and micro? Quite a bit, actually. Mini-LED panels are like LCDs with more local dimming zones than current panels – instead of a few dozen, they have a few hundred (or even thousand). They will still require a liquid crystal layer, however. Micro-LED drops all that and has emissive pixels instead, just like OLED. The major difference is that the micro-LEDs do not use Organic materials, which makes them brighter and more power efficient.