Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and MacBook to Accelerate: Kuo

Apple may be adopting mini-LED displays sooner than expected as supplier competition heightens. The advanced display, which is expected for iPad and MacBook products may come as soon as 2021, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a new research note from Kuo, seen by MacRumors, Kuo is expecting Apple to adopt mini-LED displays sooner than initially expected. As competition from suppliers is increasing, this allows Apple to consider a faster adoption cycle.

Kuo’s notes specified that Epistar had previously been predicted to be Apple’s exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips. Epistar’s display products were expected to begin popping up in 2021. However, Kuo notes that Sanan Optoelectronics has been developing its display technology sooner than expected. The company is expected to also supply Apple in 2021.

Kuo states that while Epistar had met Apple’s supply requirements, the company is also looking for new suppliers to reduce supply costs and risks. Kuo’s notes state that Sanan Optoelectronics’ costs and development schedule are “superior to competitors (including Osram and Seoul Semiconductor)”. It is believed that Sanan Optoelectronics will gain 20-30% and 45-55% of Apple’s mini-LED market share in 2021 and 2022.

The increased competition in suppliers will allow Apple to begin implementing mini-LED displays in it products sooner than previously expected. It’s been rumoured that Apple will transition to mini-LED displays for its iPad and MacBook products. Earlier this year, it was said that Apple’s timeline was delayed into 2021 due to complications tied to COVID-19.

At the time, Apple was expected to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a refreshed 16-inch Macbook Pro, both with mini-LED displays. However, given the delay and new timeline, those plans could be changed.