The mini-LED display of 2021’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro was arguably its best feature and one we’re hoping will filter down to the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro. But that doesn't look like it’s going to happen this year.
Regular tech tipster and display analyst Ross Young tweeted (opens in new tab) “not gonna happen” in response to a question directed him about the 11-inch iPad Pro 2022 getting a mini-LED display. Where Young got this information from isn't clear, but on the whole, his track record for such tips has been pretty accurate, thanks to display supply chain insight.
Not gonna happenOctober 16, 2022
So that means the smaller iPad Pro could once again stick with a standard LCD display, rather than the brighter and more contrast-rich mini-LED panel of its current larger sibling. This could be a tad disappointing, as it used to be that Apple’s best display tech would filter down from its most expensive devices to those that are more affordable or less ‘pro.’
We’ve seen that happen with the iPad Air 2021 getting the Apple M1 chip, thereby giving it similar power to the pro iPads. But having said that, we’ve yet to see the 120Hz LTPO panels used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, and their respective predecessors, trickle down to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, both of which remain stuck at a sluggish 60Hz.
For the uninitiated, mini-LED treads the line between standard LCD and OLED tech. By using arrays of small LEDs, mini-LED panels can offer more control over a display’s backlight and thus the overall screen, for controlling things like brightness and colors. Thanks to using LEDs, mini-LED can get brighter than OLED.
OLED has the advantage of delivering deeper black levels, thanks to being able to turn off pixels individually. And by not needing a backlight, OLED screens can avoid problems such as blooming around bright objects, which can still affect mini-LED displays.
However, mini-LED displays are improving and, for Apple, appear to be the way to go when it comes to tablet screens. But for now, Apple’s impressive take on the mini-LED tech looks consigned to the most expensive iPad.
We’re expecting to see new iPads arrive this month. But rather than there being a big Apple event in the form of a new product showcase, Apple is expected to announce devices like the iPad 2022 and Mac mini 2022 via a press release. This is likely due to the upgrades being minimal and come in the form of new Apple Silicon chips.
Check out our roundup of all the Apple October product launches we expect so you're up to speed.