iPadOS 14Source: Joseph Keller / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is expected to switch to mini-LED displays next year.
  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports increased manufacturing competition has reduced manufacturing price.
  • That could lead Apple to move to mini-LED more quickly than previously anticipated.

Apple's move to mini-LED looks set to be accelerated thanks to a fall in the price of manufacturing, according to a Ming-Chi Kuo research note seen by iMore. Kuo says that both Sanan Optoelectronics and Epistar are battling for Apple's business, pushing down the price the company will need to pay for parts.

Shipments of mini-LED displays for use in iPads and MacBooks are expected to begin next year, with Epistar previously expected to be the sole supplier. Kuo says that Epistar has been able to meet Apple's requirements, but that hasn't stopped it from looking to bring other suppliers online for multiple reasons. Additional capacity, increased yield, and increased competition are all reasons Apple would not want to solely rely on a single manufacturer.

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Kuo believes that Apple intends to speed up its adoption of min-LED due to the reduced cost, with the iPad and MacBook lineups being the first to pick up the new technology. The use of mini-LED will allow displays to be made thinner while also reducing their power consumption. The reasons Apple would want such a display in its iPads and MacBooks are pretty obvious.

We heard earlier this year that Apple was already trialing the production of an iPad Pro with mini-LED technology ready for a launch later in 2020. This latest research note doesn't mention that timeframe, instead saying Apple has 2021 in mind for mini-LED products.

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