Steve Jobs confirms first Macs with LED backlighting due this year

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
In revealing a timeline to abolish the use of toxic chemicals in Apple products, company chief executive Steve Jobs on Wednesday confirmed that the first Macs to sport LED-backlit displays will begin turning up later this year.



In an open letter to customers and shareholders on plans for a greener Apple, Jobs revealed the Cupertino-based company plans to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of mercury by transitioning to LED backlighting for all displays when technically and economically feasible.



"We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007," he wrote. "Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays."



The Apple co-founder's comments offer the hardest form of confirmation to an exclusive AppleInsider report on the company's plans for its next-generation MacBook Pro notebooks.



In January, AppleInsider reported that a revision to Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro due this year would mark the start of a gradual transition away from cold cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFLs) and towards LED backlights for the Mac maker.



At the time, people familiar with the matter said Apple had agreed to implement the LED technology only within a revision to its 15-inch MacBook Pro but was mulling a broader expansion to the 17-inch model and across its 13-inch consumer MacBook line. Jobs' comments on Wednesday suggest the company is accelerating plans for adopting the technology across all of its products.



In addition to being more environmentally friendly than CCFLs, LED technology is more efficient at distributing lighting evenly across the entire display surface and offers an increase in color saturation. It also consumes less power, runs cooler, and lasts longer than CCFLs.



For end users, the new technology translates into improved notebook battery life and displays that will maintain their initial levels of brightness longer into their respective life-cycles. Come this fall, LED-lit displays will also deliver a more vivid canvas for the various software user interface enhancements and animation techniques that will be included with Apple's Mac OS X Leopard operating system overhaul.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    I want my LED-backlit subnotebook! (SubMacbook?)
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Hooray! Hoping this will come to the iMacs as well.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Hooray! Hoping this will come to the iMacs as well.



    It's supposed to replace all displays. The iMac does come with a display.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    crentistcrentist Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    It's supposed to replace all displays. The iMac does come with a display.



    It'll start with the portables, for which LEDs are more affordable, and then work its way into the iMacs and Cinema displays "when technically and economically feasible."
  • Reply 5 of 67
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    My bet is that anything new or updated that has a display and is announced next month will have LED backlighting.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    blue2kdaveblue2kdave Posts: 652member
    Anyone know how these might be able (or unable) to be used as touch screens? My first thought is MultiTouch of course...
  • Reply 7 of 67
    isomorphicisomorphic Posts: 199member
    Given this:



    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/periphera...lit-244450.php



    Apple must respond with their flagship Cinema Displays, even if they cost more.



    Honestly. Which would you rather buy? The CCFL backlit display that you know will be at 50% brightness in six months, or an LED backlit display which will probably have years more of useful life?



    (PS: Yes, I'm in the market for a 30" display. I'm holding on to my wallet for fear of the XL30 pricing.)
  • Reply 8 of 67
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    I read somewhere that the first flat panels with led backlighting had poor color range, only 47% of NTSC.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    I read somewhere that the first flat panels with led backlighting had poor color range, only 47% of NTSC.



    I don't know the NTSC color range, but I currently have a Lenovo 15 inch LED backlight display (for work ) and the color and brightness are pretty good.



    And for me, the most important thing about going to LED backlight displays is that it is easier on the eyes. My older laptop gave me migraines. The new LED backlight displays don't. That's pretty important if you spend your day on a computer!
  • Reply 10 of 67
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post


    The CCFL backlit display that you know will be at 50% brightness in six months



    Shit the bed - is that right?
  • Reply 11 of 67
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    Shit the bed - is that right?



    Hyperbole.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    I read somewhere that the first flat panels with led backlighting had poor color range, only 47% of NTSC.



    Maybe. But the backlight shouldn't have too much to do with color range in an LCD monitor. You might be thinking about actual LED displays, which do not have LCDs at all.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    With Santa Rosa out shortly, I'd expect updates in the very near future to at least the Macbook Pro. I just got an email from Apple, along the lines of "Student prices expire after finals". I suspect that this is to try to get people to buy the current models, while the new ones will be revved within a few weeks.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post


    Given this:



    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/periphera...lit-244450.php



    Apple must respond with their flagship Cinema Displays..



    Yeah, Apple could even respond with a 16:9 (or 16:10) aspect ratio display.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    Huh? The current Cinema Dislays are already 16x10. 16x9 is actually not that great for a workstation display, because you don't have room for the menubar and Dock (or whatever other tools your application uses)
  • Reply 16 of 67
    synpsynp Posts: 248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Hooray! Hoping this will come to the iMacs as well.



    Well, check out what we already know:



    1. Apple plans to introduce the first LED flat-panels in 2007, but is dependent on the panel manufacturers.



    2. 10.5 is coming in October and will feature resolution-independence.



    3. from 2 we can hypothesize that Apple is going to release a high-resolution display AFTER 10.5. Using a high-resolution display with Tiger will lead to small unreadable letters.



    4. Since it doesn't make sense to change the display line-up twice in a short time, we're talking about a single revision.



    5. That revision will have to happen AFTER 10.5, meaning after October.



    6. Conclusion: no new displays (and only minor revisions for the iMac) until after 10.5.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post


    Huh? The current Cinema Dislays are already 16x10. 16x9 is actually not that great for a workstation display, because you don't have room for the menubar and Dock (or whatever other tools your application uses)



    Did you click on the link to the display he posted? It's to the new LCD, LED backlit display from Samsung which has a 4:3 aspect ratio.

    My point was all Apple has to do is release a display with their usual aspect ratio to outdo Sammy. (I didn't say 16:10, because it would probably just confuse some people, that's way I put it in brackets).
  • Reply 18 of 67
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    WWDC,

    new displays and finally the huge beast 40"+ ACD.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,994member
    This could lead to actual AppleTV televisions!
  • Reply 20 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by synp;


    Conclusion: no new displays (and only minor revisions for the iMac) until after 10.5.



    Probably accurate. Res Independence aside, the OLPC has a 200ppi display.
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