iPad MiniSource: Rene Ritchie/iMore

What you need to know

  • A DigiTimes report has reiterated rumors of mini LED-based Apple devices coming later this year.
  • That includes a new iPad Pro, as well as MacBooks.
  • The news comes off the back of a Ming-Chi Kuo report also detailing plans for mini LED devices later this year.

A report from DigiTimes suggests Apple may be planning to launch several mini LED-based devices later this year.

According to the report:

Epistar has obtained orders for mini LED chips with shipments scheduled until June 2020, according to industry sources.

Following the launch of Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch 6K mini LED-backlit LCD monitor, in 2019, Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 12.9-inch tablet and a few models of LCD monitors and notebooks to be launched by the end of 2020, the sources said.

Other vendors, concerned that Epistar might give supply priority to Apple, have advanced their mini LED orders to the supplier, the sources noted.

A tablet or notebook needs about 10,000 mini LEDs for backlighting and a LCD TV needs at least 40,000 chips, the sources indicated.

A 12.9-inch iPad would almost certainly be an iPad Pro model, and notebooks could well indicate new MacBooks. On March 3 a report from Ming-Chi Kuo stated:

The product research and development for mini LED remain unaffected by the COVID-19. The visibility for commercialization has even exceeded the expectations in our previous report.

The trend for Apple's development and promotion of mini LED are more identifiable in five years. We predict that Apple is currently developing six mini-LED-support products (vs. the previous report of only two products), including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro in 4Q20, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pr (upgraded from 13.3-inch), a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini in 2020.

The report does confusingly suggest that Apple plans to adopt mini LED technology in "a few models of LCD monitors", which seems contradictory for obvious reasons. This may be a mistake, however, the context of the Pro Display XDR may suggest that Apple is planning to add to its display lineup with another mini LED offering.