Kuo: Apple's Mini-LED Product Roadmap May Have Been Pushed Back to 2021
Apple's development of mini-LED display based hardware has not been significantly affected by the global health crisis but it may have delayed adoption of the technology in the short-term, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said mini-LED chip, panel, assembly, and terminal assembly are expected to begin mass production in the third quarter of 2020, the fourth quarter, the end of the fourth quarter, and the first quarter of 2021, respectively.
"We believe that investors do not need to worry too much about the extension of the mini LED schedule, because mini LED is a key technology that Apple will promote in the next 5 years, so even if the short-term schedule is affected by the new coronary pneumonia, it will not damage the long-term positive trend."
Apple is said to be planning four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, according to Kuo. The analyst previously said Apple planned to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an A14X chip in the third quarter of 2020 and an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED display in the fourth quarter.
However, today's note suggests Apple's roadmap for the mini-LED versions of these products may have been pushed back slightly. In March, DigiTimes said that Apple would launch multiple Mac notebook models with mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, while Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple plans to introduce a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in October or November, but without specifying which display technology it would use.
Along with a mini-LED 16-inch MacBook Pro, Kuo believes Apple is planning to introduce a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED display, although he hasn't provided launch information for the 14.1-inch model that Apple is working on, beyond suggesting there are several mini-LED devices in the works.
Future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. Mini-LED displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.
In today's note, Kuo advised investors to pay attention to the trend of mini-LEDs and reiterated that they are positively looking at the growth momentum of Apple's mini-LED product roadmap.
The analyst estimates that Apple mini-LED product shipments will grow significantly by about 300 percent and 225 percent in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Apple's active mini-LED product strategy will also force competitors to launch similar products in the next few years, which is also the key to accelerating the growth of mini-LED applications, according to Kuo.