Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple.

iPad Pro Mini LED Article
Kuo says that Epistar remains Apple's initial partner for mini-LED chips, but that Sanan and others should be able to quickly join Apple's supply chain as existing patents are not expected to serve as significant barriers to entry. As a result, mini-LED efforts by Apple and its suppliers have effectively moved from the "technology development" stage to the "economies of scale/cost" stage.

While Sanan has seen rapid development of its mini-LED capabilities that could allow it ship large quantities of the chips to Apple in the first half of 2021, Kuo says that Epistar has experienced some yield issues that have led Kuo to reduce his fourth-quarter 2020 display shipment estimates by 50% to between 300,000 and 400,000.

Kuo has said that Apple has at least six iPad and Mac products with mini-LED displays in its pipeline for launch by the end of 2021, but he indicates that the initial batch of displays coming through the end of 2020 will be for an iPad Pro.

Apple's mini LED dies will be mass-produced in 4Q20, but due to yield issues related to the production process of display module materials, the 4Q20 display shipments have been revised down by 50% to 300,000-400,000. We believe that the mini LED display in 4Q20 will be used for the new ‌iPad Pro‌.

Kuo has long predicted that a high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ would likely be Apple's first mini-LED product.

As indicated in his earlier report, Kuo sees fierce price competition among Apple's mini-LED suppliers in 2021, predicting that Apple's costs for the mini-LED dies will drop by 50% in 2021 and a further 35% in 2022.

Mini-LED displays, which use on the order of 1,000 to 10,000 individual LEDs, can offer deeper, darker blacks, brighter brights, richer colors, and better contrast compared to traditional LED-based displays, though the technology comes at a significant increase in cost for the time being.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

Realityck Avatar
8 months ago

Bring it to the iPhone Line up!
Mini-LED is adding local dimming to a LCD panel that is backlit to increase contrast. Phone would just use OLED instead.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
T'hain Esh Kelch Avatar
8 months ago
Hello price hike. Now we know why the Air 4 is so close in price to the much better valued iPad Pro.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
8 months ago

Hello price hike. Now we know why the Air 4 is so close in price to the much better valued iPad Pro.
Many think the Air is the much better value right now.

I’m only interested in the Pro though, even with a $100 bump. My 1st gen 12.9” has a broken screen and low capacity battery but I could never give up four speaker sound. Looking forward to ProMotion too, and FaceID. Don’t really care about rear cameras or LiDAR.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
8 months ago

"We believe that the mini LED display in 4Q20 will be used for the new iPad Pro."
Wait, 2020? i dont think there will be another ipad in 2020....but i hope i will be wrong and KUO is right...
You sorta parsed that quote sans context. The full quote is about the mini LED display panel, not the iPad. The panels are being produced in 4Q20. Those 4th quarter mini LED panels will be used in the new iPad Pro, which will be among the 6 rumored models to be released by the end of 2021.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
8 months ago
So once again Apple will lead the way with these new chips while the rest play ketchup
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
8 months ago
Awesome! I’m in for that. I’d guess June/July but hopefully earlier. Some will read tea leaves and cast runes, trying to convince themselves it’ll come later this year or in the Jan-Mar quarter; it never fails lol. But that’s just wishful thinking.

Hopefully no price increase but depending on new features I could easily see a $100 bump. The 2020 iPad Pro added some nice tech while effectively decreasing the price. Very likely Apple’s been eating lower margins to save the price hike for mini-LED. No doubt 5G will also be available at that time.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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