iPad Pro and MacBook Pro are about to get this killer upgrade

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPad Pro and MacBook Pro will be the first Apple devices to use new Mini-LED display technology. So says a report from DigiTimes, citing industry sources.

An earlier rumor said that an early 2021 refresh of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be the first Apple product to use Mini-LED, with new MacBooks coming in the second half of the year. There will apparently be 10,000 Mini-LEDs used in each display.

Mini-LED, as the name suggests, is a version of normal LED displays that uses smaller LED light sources. This should prove to be much better when it comes to brightness and color. However, Mini-LED is currently between 20% and 30% more expensive than standard LED, meaning it'll remain a premium option for the time being.

Mini-LED was originally on track to appear in devices this year, according to reports. Coronavirus and the associated lockdowns ruined those plans, which is why we're only expecting to see the first Mini-LED Apple machines appear in 2021. However, DigiTimes says rival laptop makers will also begin using the new tech early next year.

The displays will reportedly be made by Epistar, a Taiwanese manufacturer. While this is the only confirmed supplier, it's about to be joined by Malaysia-based Osram Opto according to DigiTimes. Osram Opto currently makes display components for Apple Watch and iPhone devices, but will switch to Mini-LED parts, specifically for new MacBook Pros. Meanwhile, Epistar will be producing Mini-LED components for the iPad Pro.

Since Apple is allegedly planning on moving over more of its displays to Mini-LED technology, it makes sense to hear that it's finding more production partners to help provide the necessary parts. DigiTimes also claims that a third company, China's Sanan Optoelectronics, is also being evaluated by Apple as a Mini-LED supplier.

While you'll likely have to wait until 2021 for these Mini LED devices, Apple should have a slew of other products right around the corner. Apple's big iPhone 12 event is tipped to take place on October 13, and could also mark the reveal of such products as the AirPods Studio, AirTags and the first Apple Silicon MacBook

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.