Apple to Launch 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models With More Power-Efficient Displays This Year, Claims Report
Apple is preparing to release new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with more power-efficient mini-LED displays before the year is out, claims a new report by DigiTimes.
Apple is expected to ship new models of 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro devices in the fourth quarter of 2023 with miniLED backlighting that can increase the display brightness by 10% compared to the first-generation specifications, the sources said.
Perhaps counterintuitively on first reading, the claim is that the increased brightness the enhanced mini-LED displays are capable of will not result in perceivably brighter displays on the MacBook Pro. Instead, the mini-LEDs will output the same brightness but use less power in the process. From the report:
Apple has not made major changes to the miniLED backlighting specifications since adopting it for its tablets and notebooks, the sources said. But the upcoming MacBook Pro devices will feature miniLEDs that are 10% brighter than the previous ones without changing the number of miniLED chips in the backlighting module, the sources said. The brightness enhancement is not meant to improve picture quality, but rather to save power and improve battery life, the sources said, adding that the new devices will start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2023.
These claims are not out of the question, but there's good reason to doubt the launch timing in DigiTimes' latest supply chain report. Apple updated the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in January, and most rumors suggest refreshed models are coming next year.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the next version of these two machines are expected to feature M3 Pro and M3 Max chips and will "probably" launch by the middle of 2024 at the latest. Likewise, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes new MacBook Pro models with updated 3-nanometer M3 Pro and M3 Max chips are set to launch in 2024.
Having said that, MacRumors received information earlier this week that indicates Apple will likely begin accepting some of its latest Mac models for trade-in this month, suggesting it may be proceeding with plans to release a new Mac model imminently. Whether this correlates with the launch of at least one new machine around mid-October remains to be seen.
The second part of the report is more aligned with rumor consensus, and goes on to suggest that the iPad Pro series may give up mini-LED backlighting and switch to hybrid OLED in 2024, while the MacBook Pro devices will continue using mini-LED until 2026, citing the burn-in problem usually associated with OLED screens as a remaining concern given that laptops tend to be left on for extended periods.
Apple is widely rumored to be working on OLED technology for future Macs and iPads, and the company is expected to switch iPad Pro models to OLED displays next year. iPad Pro display sizes are expected to see a slight increase from 11 and 12.9 inches currently to 11.1 and 13 inches with the next models. Apple is rumored to be planning to start mass production at the beginning of 2024.
Meanwhile, the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are not expected to be upgraded with OLED display technology until 2026. That is when Apple's supply chain is expected to have sufficient notebook-optimized OLED display production capacity, according to Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants. Until then, Young believes suppliers will be focused on OLED displays for tablets, such as the iPad Pro, although an OLED MacBook Air could come earlier.
DigiTimes obtains its information from the suppliers who manufacture parts for iPhones and other Apple products. Its sources often provide reliable information, but the site has a mixed track record when it comes to interpreting that information and accurately deciphering Apple's plans. It is often best to view information from the site with some skepticism until the info is corroborated by additional sources, especially when it comes to rumors.