The rumored 11-inch mini-LED iPad Pro is no more, says analyst

Best iPad for artists
Best iPad for artists (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple had previously been rumored to be working on mini-LED displays for its 11-inch iPad Pro.
  • Apple already uses mini-LED technology in its 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
  • Display analyst Ross Young now says that we won't see mini-LED come to the smaller iPad Pro soon, if ever.

Apple had been expected to bring mini-LED technology to the smaller iPad Pro, possibly as soon as this year. But a new report by analyst Ross Young suggests that isn't the case anymore. And it might never happen.

Young tweeted last week that talk of an 11-inch mini-LED iPad Pro could have been premature, and now that same notion has found its way into a larger display industry report. Young says that it's now thought that Apple will keep its mini-LED technology for larger displays — including a new 27-inch monitor that could also pack support for 120Hz ProMotion.

While it was previously thought that Apple would also introduce MiniLEDs to the 11" iPad Pro, we no longer believe that is the case, at least not this year. Apple is reportedly targeting its MiniLEDs on larger and more expensive displays. We do expect Apple to introduce MiniLEDs on a 27" monitor, which could be launched in June with its Mac Pro. We believe the 27" MiniLED monitor will have 5K resolution and an oxide backplane. It may adopt 120Hz as well, but 5K at 120Hz would require HDMI 2.1 and would limit the number of Apple devices that would work with this display.

Apple has previously said that mini-LED technology, dubbed the Liquid Retina XDR Display, is only available on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro because it thought that was how its users would prefer it.

What we know about the 11-inch user is that they just love bringing a super-powerful iPad with them in a portable one-pound design... they just love the form factor of that. Whereas the user who is embracing the 12.9-inch display, they were looking for the largest canvas to do their most creative work on that product, and that made sense to bring that XDR technology to the 12-inch display for the iPad Pro.

Whether that's actually how things went down or not, we don't know. But it now seems unlikely that we will see a switch to mini-LED soon, if ever, for what is still one of the best iPads you can buy in terms of capability and portability.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.