Kuo: MacBook Shipment Growth to Drive Market Adoption of Mini-LED Technology

Apple's use of mini-LED panels in its forthcoming MacBook lineups will catalyze supplier investment and push the entire industry toward adoption of the display technology, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1
Like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple's upcoming redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are expected to feature mini-LED displays. In his latest investor note, seen by MacRumors, Kuo says this will stoke strategic supplier investment in the technology, which will allow Apple to diversify supply risk and bring down production costs.

We believe that MacBooks, not iPads, mainly drive Mini LED panel shipments. MacBook shipments have not grown much in the past few years. However, we expect MacBook shipments to grow significantly by 20% YoY, or more in 2021 and 2022, due to the adoption of Mini LED panels, Apple Silicon, and all-new designs.

The redesigned 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models due this year are expected to feature next-generation Apple silicon chips, the removal of the Touch Bar, the return of the MagSafe magnetic power cable, and an overall new design with an HDMI port and SD card slot.

Kuo believes that Apple is already "actively looking for second suppliers of key Mini LED components," and if its mini-LED notebooks receive positive feedback, other notebook makers and their suppliers will inevitably be pushed towards adoption of the technology.

Apple is also developing a thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air that will have thinner bezels than the current model. Rumors suggest it will have a 13-inch mini-LED display, which will be an upgrade over the existing ‌MacBook Air‌'s display.

In a previous investor note, Kuo said the 2022 ‌MacBook Air‌ models will be available in "several color options," likely similar to the colors of the 24-inch iMac.

Looking ahead to 2023, Kuo singles out Apple's work on micro-LED technology as the next major display market disruptor.

Though the names are similar, there are notable differences between micro-LED and mini-LED displays. Mini-LED is the same as LED backlighting that's used today but with many more LEDs for more dimming zones, while micro-LED is similar to OLED with self-emissive pixels that can each be independently lit.

Apple is working on micro-LED technology as well, but mini-LED will come first in iPads and Macs because micro-LED technology is so expensive right now.

We predict that the production cost of Micro LED will improve significantly starting in 2023–2024, so it will likely be a market focus from 2023 onwards. We believe Apple is developing Micro LED technology, but the production schedule is not yet confirmed.

Apple is planning to hold multiple events this fall to launch new iPhones, Apple Watch models, updated AirPods, a redesigned iPad mini, and redesigned mini-LED MacBook Pros, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

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Top Rated Comments

bbzzz Avatar
38 months ago
"thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air"

stop making it thinner, make it useful, put a decent battery in and some ports. Its no longer thin if you have to lug a power supply and port expanders/adaptors
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
38 months ago

Also put the trackpad back the way it was. Not this over sized garbage.
people that already used this big trackpad cannot go back to the tiny area. And the rest of the industry started to make them bigger as well
So , no, the trackpad is a masterpiece the way it is
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lukomaldini Avatar
38 months ago
14inch Macbook Pro M1X and Mini-LED = King of Laptops.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chasing.stoke Avatar
38 months ago
Shut up and take my money
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
38 months ago

"thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air"

stop making it thinner, make it useful, put a decent battery in and some ports. Its no longer thin if you have to lug a power supply and port expanders/adaptors
battery? have you seen the M1 MBA? come on...they are cold to the touch, at least 10 hours of heavy battery usage
So if they can make it thinner with the more less heating M2..why not....its the Macbook air,not the pro so it makes sense
But i agree with you on the ports...i think 4 ports are enough if they place (including the headphone jack)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freida Avatar
38 months ago
All I need for all these is new Apple Cinema Display that is reasonably priced.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)