Apple’s Upcoming 12.9-Inch iPad Pro to Feature mini-LED Technology in Early 2021

Mini-LED Apple products are on the way.

Apple is preparing to launch its first mini-LED iPad in early 2021, with a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the pipeline for release in later that year, claims Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes.

From the report:

Osram Opto Semiconductors is expected to supply backlight-use mini LED for high-end MacBook in second-half 2021, becoming Apple’s second supplier of such chips next to Taiwan-based Epistar, according to industry sources.

Apple is expected to launch 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021, with each tablet to use over 10,000 mini LEDs solely supplied by Epistar, the sources said. Epistar is ready to start production of mini LEDs by modifying its blue-light LED chipmaking equipment for producing such mini LEDs in third-quarter 2020, the sources noted.

The report continues to note that Apple will launch a mini-LED “high-end MacBook”, likely a MacBook Pro, in the second half of the year.

The report reflects several previous reports suggesting Apple plans to switch at least some of its products over to mini-LED display technology.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has long asserted that Apple’s first mini-LED product will be a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Kuo expects production of the mini-LED displays for the iPad Pro sometime in the fourth quarter of 2020, although the new tablets may not hit shelves until 2021.

Kuo says Apple has at least six iPad and Mac products with mini-LED displays in its pipeline for launch by the end of 2021. However, he also indicates that the initial batch of displays through the end of 2020 will be used for a new iPad Pro.

Benefits of Mini-LED include thinner and lighter product design, good wide color gamut performance, high contrast, and HDR, as well as the ability to dim specific screen areas. Despite 20-30 percent higher costs, DigiTimes reports that many notebook vendors plan to launch 15.6-, 16.0-, and 17.3-inch mini-LED devices in the first half of 2021.