Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s First mini-LED Device to be an iPad Pro

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s First mini-LED Device to be an iPad Pro

Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has expanded a bit on his report from earlier this week indicating that Apple will soon be accelerating the adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and MacBook lineups. Kuo today released a new report offering a bit more information about the mini-LED display market as it applies to Apple.

Kuo says that while Epistar remains the main supplier for Apple’s mini-LED chip needs, Sanan and other manufacturers should soon be able to provide supply, as existing patents are not expected to serve as significant barriers to entry. Kuo says mini-LED efforts by Apple and its suppliers have moved from the “technology development” stage to the “economies of scale/cost” stage.

Kuo says 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. Meanwhile, Kuo says Sanan has seen rapid development of its mini-LED capabilities that could allow it to ship large quantities of the chips to Apple in the first half of 2021.

Kuo says Apple has at least six iPad and Mac products with mini-LED displays in its pipeline for launch by the end of 2021. However, he also indicates that the initial batch of displays through the end of 2020 will be used for a new 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.

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.