Macs to get LED-backlit displays this year

In an open letter discussing Apple’s ecological stance in relation to toxic chemicals and recycling, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has revealed that LED-backlit displays will be introduced in new Macs this year.

To eliminate mercury in our displays, we need to transition from fluorescent lamps to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the displays. Fortunately, all iPod displays already use LEDs for illumination, and therefore contain no mercury. We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007. 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 statement could validate rumors we heard back in January that said both Apple and HP would introduce notebooks with LED-backlit displays in the second quarter of this year. Companies like Sony already use LED backlights in their notebooks, and the resulting displays are brighter and have higher contrast ratios and lower power consumption than counterparts backlit with fluorescent lamps.

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