Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Air May Use the iPad Pro’s Mini-LED Display

Why Trust Techopedia
Key Takeaways

  • An analyst claims the 12.9-inch iPad Air will use the Mini-LED display from the Pro.
  • The screen would bring higher quality and power savings.
  • The 10.9-inch model might stick to a regular LCD.

Apple’s rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air will use the Mini-LED display from the current iPad Pro, according to a display industry analyst.

As MacRumors noted, Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young claimed the larger iPad Air would reuse the screens from Apple’s flagship tablet, which will reportedly move to OLED when its M3 upgrade arrives.

Mini-LED provides a significant boost to image quality over conventional LCDs. As it offers fine control over backlighting, it can deliver both higher brightness and deeper blacks. That makes it ideal for high dynamic range (HDR) videos and any other content where a vivid, high-contrast image is helpful.

The technology can also deliver power savings that might translate to improved battery life.

What happens to the standard 10.9-inch model isn’t clear. There’s no Mini-LED option for the 11-inch iPad Pro, so Apple would have to either have one made or use a standard LCD.  It’s also unknown if the Air would include a smoother 120Hz refresh rate or stick to 60Hz.

Both the 12.9-inch iPad Air and OLED iPad Pro models are expected to launch in May, if Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman is accurate. They could come with a more laptop-like Magic Keyboard as well as a third-generation Apple Pencil. Base iPad and iPad mini updates might not come until the fall.

Apple is under pressure to improve its iPad lineup. The company didn’t refresh any of its tablets in 2023, and that was reflected in its earnings. iPad net sales in the last calendar quarter of 2023 fell roughly 25% compared to a year earlier. Demand has tapered off, and competitors like Samsung  could take advantage of this.

A 12.9-inch version of the iPad Air, much like the iPhone 15 Plus and 15-inch MacBook Air, would theoretically satisfy users who want a large screen but aren’t willing to pay for high-end features.