Macbook Air M1Source: Daniel Bader / iMore

What you need to know

  • A new report says the MacBook Air will not get mini-LED tech until 2022.
  • DigiTimes reports that two new iPad Pros and a 16-inch MacBook Pro with mini-LED will be released this year.

A new report says Apple's popular MacBook Air won't get mini-LED technology until 2022.

From DigiTimes:

Apple is reportedly looking to adopt miniLED displays for its new iPads and MacBook Pros in 2021, while Samsung Electronics is expected to release a miniLED tablet and Micro-Star International (MSI) a miniLED notebook, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Specifically, DigiTimes says Apple will release two new iPad Pro models, an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch variant with mini-LED, as well as a 16-inch MacBook Pro. There are also numerous reports Apple will release a 14-inch MacBook Pro this year, with both to benefit from new Apple silicon chips.

The report continues:

The sources expect that Apple's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros and 16-inch MacBook Pro set to be released in 2021 will be equipped with miniLED displays and adoption of miniLED will be expanded to its MacBook Air products in 2022.

As noted, it seems from this report that Apple's 'Pro' lineup up MacBooks will be the first to benefit from mini-LED technology. Mini-LED tech, which features more individual LED lights and better control, will make for better contrast and colors. The technology is also more efficient and should make for thinner and lighter products, or more likely, room for other features.

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Whilst it may come as a disappointment to some that Apple's most popular MacBook might be left out in the LED cold in 2021, the rumors make a lot of sense. Introducing the feature to Apple's more premium MacBook and iPad 'Pro' lineup will help distinguish the lineup further from its "regular" MacBooks and iPad. The iPad Pro in particular is in need of more "Pro" features after the addition of the A14 chip to the iPad Air bridged the gap significantly. If this report is true, it will be 2022 before a new mini-LED MacBook Air hits the market. Given the recent M1 update to MacBook Air in 2020, this could indicate that we shouldn't expect to see a new MacBook Air at all in 2021, as it seems highly unlikely Apple would upgrade the Air over three consecutive years.