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Mini LED coming to MacBook Air in 2022, Kuo says

Apple is predicted to incorporate mini LED screen technology in a MacBook Air model set to debut in 2022, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo in a note to investors on Friday said Apple's next-generation MacBook Air will adopt a 13.3-inch mini LED display. Currently, MacBook Air sports a 13.3-inch Retina display with standard LED backlighting.

Thanks to localized dimming, the incorporation of mini LED technology will deliver vastly increased contrast ratios, deeper blacks and higher peak brightness when compared to existing models.

Apple introduced mini LED to its product lineup with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that debuted in April. Dubbed Liquid Retina XDR, the display features a backlight consisting of more than 10,000 mini LEDs grouped into 2,596 local dimming zones. The result is an LCD display with contrast ratios rivaling those of OLED.

Apple is widely rumored to bring mini LED to MacBook Pro later this year. While the tech giant limited integration on iPad Pro to the larger 12.9-inch model, Kuo anticipates both 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops will benefit from the screen technology.

Looking ahead, a long overdue iPad mini revamp is also rumored to receive the mini LED treatment. Kuo first predicted the shift last year and a report supported those claims this week.

Kuo in today's note said Sunrex will join Apple's supply chain later this year to provide light guides for MacBook Air scissor switch keyboards.

The analyst believes Apple will release a mini LED-equipped MacBook Air in the middle of 2022. If supply shortages continue to improve, Kuo said he expects overall MacBook shipments to grow to 20 million to 22 million units in 2022 on the back of demand for the new MacBook Air and other models with improved Apple Silicon chips.