Increased competition among mini-LED display chip suppliers will accelerate Apple’s adoption of the advanced display technology in its MacBook and iPad devices, says a research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In the note (via MacRumors), Kuo says that while Epistar had been expected to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics has experienced unexpectedly good development on the technology and will also begin supplying Apple with the chips in 2021 rather than the previously estimated timeframe of 2022.
Apple is expected to benefit from the competition among suppliers as well as the additional supply capacity. Apple’s cost for mini-LED displays could drop from $75–$85 down to around $45. Kuo expects to see mini-LED technology appear in approximately 30–40% of iPad shipments and 20–30% of MacBook shipments in 2021, up from previous estimates of 10–20% shipment share for both product lines.
Apple has been long-expected to be planning to introduce mini-LED display technology in its iPad Pro and MacBook lineups. Kuo said six months ago that the Cupertino firm has six mini-LED products under development, for launch through the end of 2021. Products include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini.
mini-LED display technology uses individual LEDs that offer an improvement over traditional LED-backlit displays, with performance comparable to OLED displays. The new display technology can offer deeper, darker blacks, brighter brights, richer colors, and better contrast. Unfortunately, the technology is currently more expensive.