Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the first Apple device to feature a Mini-LED display will be on a new 12.9″ iPad Pro. Back in March, Kuo said that there will be a total of six products in Apple’s pipeline, ranging from iPads to Macs, that will use the new display technology.
MacRumors reported at the time that the devices would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a new 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini.
If you are not in the know, Mini-LED displays consist of arrays of microscopic LEDs that form the individual pixel elements. These displays are claimed to offer better contrast, response times, and energy efficiency compared to convention LCD technology.
In his recent report, Kuo mentions that the Cupertino-based company will be accelerating the adoption of Mini-LED panels as the current testing yield better results than expected. This is mostly thanks to a potential secondary supplier Apple is using named Sanan Optoelectronics.
The report goes on to say that at present, Epistar will remain the main Mini-LED panel supplier for Apple but the company will need more suppliers to meet the initial demand. Most Mini-LED panel manufacturers are moving from the “technology development” stage to the “economies of scale” stage.
The cost for a Mini-LED manufacturing is expected to fall by around 50% in 2021, said Kuo, and this will be followed by a further 35% drop the following year in 2022. The report goes on to say that mass production for these new panels are expected to start by Q4 2020 and the initial order is expected to be for 300,000 to 400,000 units.
He indicates that the initial batch of displays coming through the end of the 2020 will be for an 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 it turns out, a Mini-LED display could just be the thing the high-end iPad Pro needs to differentiate it from the rest of Apple’s iPad line up. This follows the announcement of the new 10.9” iPad Air that now sports an updated A14 Bionic chip. The new iPad carries many of the same flagship features as the iPad Pro and it is cheaper. The key areas that the Air misses out on is the Pro’s 120Hz display and cameras.