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Apple moves to certify LED-backlit panels for 13-inch MacBooks

Apple Inc.'s consumer line of 13-inch MacBook notebooks may join its 15-inch MacBook Pro line in receiving the LED-backlit display treatment this year, according to reports.

Citing "sources in the industry," DigiTimes reports that the Mac maker has agreed to purchase components from AU Optronics (AUO), Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), Coretronic and Kenmos Technology.

Both AUO and CMO are said to be having their samples of 13.3- and 15.4-inch panels certified by Apple, with shipments to officially commence in the second or third quarter of 2007.

AppleInsider had previously reported that the 15-inch MacBook Pro was the first notebook elected by the Cupertino-based Apple to transition to the new type of display, with the 13-inch and 17-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models under consideration for the same move.

Meanwhile, backlight unit (BLU) makers Coretronic and Kenmos are also sending samples to be incorporated in the panels, with official shipments to also kick off around a similar period.

According to DigiTimes, component makers indicated Apple plans to use the LED V-cut light-guide panel technology from Japan's Stanley Electric, which is a technology authorizer and major shareholder of Taiwan's Kenmos.

"Therefore, CMO has decided to adopt Kenmos' LED BLUs for the panels it will ship to Apple," the report states.

In an open letter to customers and investors last week on Apple's environmental strategy, chief executive Steve Jobs openly confirmed that the first Macs with LED-backlit displays would begin shipping this year as part of a broader move to eliminate the use of mercury from the company's products.