Apple Mini-LED Display Supplier Says Demand Shrinking As Rumors Suggest Transition to OLED in Coming Years

One of Apple's leading mini-LED suppliers says demand for displays in consumer products is shrinking while demand for mini-LED in other use cases is rising as Apple eyes a transition to move its iPad and MacBook line to OLED displays in the coming years.

Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch
A new report from DigiTimes today cites industry sources within Epistar, which has been providing mini-LED displays to Apple for some time, saying that demand for mini-LED displays for use in consumer electronic devices is decreasing and that it expects demand for mini-LED displays for use in dashboards and displays for vehicles to spike in 2023.

A report last week suggested Samsung is now prioritizing the development of specific types of OLED displays that Apple plans to use in upcoming iPad Pro models. According to reports, Apple is expected to announce the first iPad Pro with an OLED display in 2024, which has sparked mini-LED suppliers to eye other applications for its displays, according to DigiTimes.

Alongside an OLED ‌iPad Pro‌, Apple is also rumored to launch a 13-inch MacBook Air with an OLED display in 2024. Apple is also considering using an OLED panel in an upcoming iPhone SE refresh, but the company is debating between using an LCD or OLED display, according to reliable display analyst Ross Young.

Top Rated Comments

Bustycat Avatar
6 weeks ago

Apple didn't move to OLED in a long time because these displays degrade faster than LCD. Then why is Apple now considering to switch?
Then you can buy more frequently.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmho Avatar
6 weeks ago
I have an LG C2 OLED next to my Pro Display XDR, and 16" miniLED MacBook Pro and the OLED absolutely destroys them both in terms of picture quality when watching films and TV.

If burn in is solved then I can't wait for OLED.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Radon87000 Avatar
6 weeks ago

OLED will be used on consumer Apple products, mini-LED on prosumer ones. Apple needs HDR across the board, sufficiently bright OLED is a “cheap” way to get there. But it won’t replace miniLED and local dimming any time soon. Next evolutionary step is then micro-LEDs which will replace both.
I would say it’s the opposite. OLED is far superior to MiniLED in HDR as it has effectively millions of dimming zones vs; 2500 on the MiniLED making for a much more impressive contrast ratio. Yes it isn’t as bright but it doesn’t need to hit the same brightness due to higher perceived contrast. This is a-art from the much better Color volume OLED provides especially QD OLED

I have an OLED monitor, OLED TV AMD a MiniLED iPad and in the dark the OLED just crushes the MiniLED.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Le0M Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple didn't move to OLED in a long time because these displays degrade faster than LCD. Then why is Apple now considering to switch?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
6 weeks ago
I’m ready for that OLED iPad 16” Display.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RamGuy Avatar
6 weeks ago

My LG C2 goes up to 800 nits so it's not dark by any means, and QD-OLEDs are hitting 1500 nits. Plus the iPhone 14 Pro's OLED screen can hit 2000 nits.

I don't think Apple would switch if they didn't think that OLED's two big problems: burn in, and low brightness, were mostly solved.
Brightness is difficult. It all depends on how large of an area on your TV we are talking about. The LG C2 will only give you 800 nits peak brightness when it's 2% or less of your screen pushing for this kind of peak brightness. Once you move to 25%, it drops to 400 nits. 50%, it drops to 266 nits etc. For SDR, the overall brightness is limited to 422 nits.

How relevant this is will vary greatly. For SDR, the industry standard for colour calibration is to aim for 100 nits / 100 cd/m2, but this might not be sufficient if you are watching your TV in bright rooms. For HDR, it's a different story, as the HDR standard is referencing 10 000 nits for peak brightness. In theory, your HDR experience can peak up to 10 000 nits. There is obviously no TV on the market today that can achieve this, so we apply various tricks to limit peak brightness for HDR to stay within the capabilities of your TV. But the HDR spec itself will continue pushing contracts all the way up to 10 000 nits if you have a TV capable of going that far.

To me personally, I prefer OLED over mini-LED. Perfect black is more important to our perception of contrast than peak brightness. And it's not like everything is HDR even in 2022, and for SDR content, peak brightness is not relevant besides battling lousy lighting conditions in your room.

The main difference I noticed when watching HDR on a mini-LED TV compared to an OLED TV is that the eye-soaring bright highlights get even more eye-soaring. It's tough to view details in peak brightness for HDR content because pushing 1000 nits+ becomes too bright to be viewed comfortably. Whereas details in dark areas can be viewed with great comfort so having perfect black levels is much more impactful overall compared to having peak brightness extending beyond 800 nits in my experience.

mini-LED is much better at providing decent black levels when compared to LED. But it's far from perfect. You get a ton of halo/blooming due to the mini-LED sones being too large. OLED is infinitely better as it can turn off each individual pixel to achieve perfect black levels with no haloing, blooming or bleeding. micro-LED is going to be the best of both worlds, providing the peak brightness of LED, and the black levels of OLED without the drawbacks of burn-in/image retention etc.

But micro-LED is still some years into the future. As of today, we have mini-LED and OLED, and to me, OLED beats mini-LED without any questions.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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