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2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch tablets could have Mini LED displays, launch in Q1 2021

An iPad Pro with attachable keyboard
(Image credit: Future)

The future of Apple displays has reportedly shifted from LCD to Mini LED. Before the end of 2020, Apple will begin to build the 2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch with Mini LED displays, according to Korea ETNews (via MacRumors). 

That same report also says that this represents a total shift for Apple, as the company allegedly intends to use this same Mini LED backlight technology for its MacBook laptops and iMac desktops. LG would manufacture and supply the mini-LEDs to Apple.

This news corroborates an earlier report that Apple originally intended to launch a Mini LED iPad Pro this year, but decided to delay it to 2021 due to the 'complex panel design.' ETNews' report states that we should see the new iPad Pro 12.9-inch in the 'first quarter' of 2021.

What the report doesn't state is whether Apple will continue to sell other iPads with their current LCD screens. Currently, Apple also sells an 11-inch iPad Pro, along with the standard iPad and iPad Mini.

Mini LED displays swap LED backlights for thousands of tiny backlights — 0.2mm or smaller — built into the panel itself, all of which can be individually controlled. This translates into greatly improved local dimming, deeper blacks and much better contrast and brightness. The technology is considered an affordable alternative to OLED.

Other companies buying into Mini LED

Last week, we learned that Nintendo could build its Nintendo Switch Pro with a Mini LED display that would support 4K capabilities in both docked and handheld mode. And it is just one of many companies looking to invest in the technology.

TCL's 6-Series televisions use Mini LED displays with over 1,000 nits of brightness and over 1,000 contrast control zones. Its upcoming 6-Series lineup will even support 120FPS gaming with auto-low latency, built to support the specs of the new Xbox Series X and PS5.

Plus, Samsung may also have plans to sell Mini LED TVs in 2021 with an expected contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, according to Tom's Guide. Considering Samsung mostly focuses its premium TV efforts on its proprietary QLED technology, it's intriguing that it would choose to branch out to Mini LED televisions as well.

Michael Hicks

Michael Hicks began his freelance writing career with TechRadar in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars. Nowadays, he works as a staff editor for Android Central, but still writes occasional TR reviews, how-tos and explainers on phones, tablets, smart home devices, and other tech.