Earlier this year, Apple launched the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. One of the biggest new elements is its display, which is a change from LCD to mini-LED. Apple received plenty of positive feedback on that display, despite some complaints of blooming. And it turns out Apple’s figured out some solutions to bring the mini-LED display to the smaller Pro tablet.
At least, that’s according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The note was reported on late last night by AppleInsider. The investor’s note also indicates Apple is planning on launching a new, redesigned MacBook Air with the same display technology in the early stages of next year as well.
There aren’t any details to go on here. This is just Kuo filling in investors on what the expectations are for Apple in the early stages of 2022. Basically, setting the stage for what the company is more than likely going to do in 2022.
And this is an interesting move. Not just because mini-LED is a great option for displays, as it offers great colors, contrast, and blacks without transitioning completely to OLED. (Which Apple is still expected to do as early as 2022 or 2023, as well.) It’s also better in the power consumption category.
But it’s an interesting shift because Apple actually defended not adopting the new “Liquid Retina XDR” display with the smaller iPad Pro due to portability when it introduced the 12.9-inch model. On a podcast earlier this year, Apple’s Vincent Gu (a display engineer) and Scott Broderick (a marketing employee) talked about the new display technology and why Apple didn’t bring it to the smaller variant.
Weight and portability are the reasons. The new display adds some weight, and Apple wanted to retain the overall portability of the smaller tablet. Per that report earlier this year:
…Apple didn’t want to sacrifice the overall portability of the 11-inch iPad Pro just to adopt the better display technology. For reference, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro weighs in at 1.5 pounds, and the new 11-inch iPad Pro weighs 1.03 pounds. Broderick says when people pick the 11-inch iPad Pro over the larger model, it’s mostly about portability. Adopting the Liquid Retina XDR display into the smaller model would have made it noticeably heavier, impacting that feature.
So, that was a hurdle that Apple apparently needed some time to figure out. And if Kuo is correct, then Apple has essentially already done that and is now planning to launch the 11-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED screen in early 2022. And a new, probably colorful MacBook Air with the same display technology will see the light of day around the same time.
If the mini-LED display technology does launch in the smaller iPad Pro (or the MacBook Air for that matter), are you planning on making the upgrade?