No mini-LED display for the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air after all: LCD said to remain

Header image is referential, showcasing the iPad Air (2022). | Image Credit–PhoneArena

Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) and a prominent analyst in the display industry shared with his subscribers on X that his latest source suggests the iPad Air will stick with the same LCD panel used in the current models after all. The reason? Well, it seems the high costs of producing mini-LED panels are to blame.
Last week, a report from the usually reliable source hinted that Apple might use leftover mini-LED displays from its current-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022) for the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air. This would have been a big boost in display quality compared to the current iPad Air model, but it turns out the excitement was premature.
Mini-LED and LCD are both display technologies, but mini-LED offers some key improvements over traditional LCD. For example, mini-LED uses much smaller and more numerous LEDs for the backlight. These LEDs can be dimmed individually in different zones of the screen. This allows for superior contrast, with dark areas appearing much deeper and blacks looking truer. So, using the technology for the 12.9-inch iPad Air could have been a nice upgrade.


However, Young also hinted that there might be a new iPad model sporting a 12.9-inch mini-LED display hitting the shelves in the fourth quarter of 2024. As for what exactly this device could be, well, it’s anyone’s guess – it might be a premium iPad Air, a budget-friendly iPad Pro, or even something completely different.

The launch of the new iPads is backed by a slew of leaks thus far. Adding weight to this, reputable journalist Mark Gurman recently chimed in, lending further credibility to the iPads’ impending launch.

Clearly, the new iPad models are stealing the spotlight, especially with notable figures hinting at a potential overhaul. Could this be another sign pointing towards a mini-OLED screen in the mix? The exciting part is, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Apple is gearing up to unveil four new iPad models at an event dubbed “Let Loose” on May 7. Among them, we’re looking forward to seeing two new iPad Pro models rocking OLED panels, along with two new iPad Air models. And yes, one of these iPad Air models is rumored to be the larger 12.9-inch version. 

And with the Pro models rumored to make the switch to OLED, it seemed logical for Apple to repurpose leftover mini-LED displays from its current-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, as is often the case with leaks and rumors, not all of them pan out. So, it’s wise to take this latest one with a grain of salt, too.

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