iPads and MacBooks will reportedly ship with mini-LED screens as soon as 2021 because of the heightened competition among Apple’s suppliers.
The first part of Apple’s remaining 2020 busy months kicked off last week. The company is now preparing for orders to gush in for the new Apple Watch and iPad Air 4. In a couple of weeks, Apple will announce the second tranche of their event. By then, it is expected to present the new iPhone 12 lineup and a couple of other new and refreshed products.
While a huge part of their focus is on these launches before 2020 ends, they are likewise planning for a big 2021.
iPads and Macbooks to get mini-LED in 2021
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo notes that suppliers of Apple’s newest mini-LED screens are competing at a high level. As a result, the development and manufacturing of these screens have been accelerated. He even notes that the adaption of such technology could be fast-forwarded to 2021 instead of 2022.
Epistar will apparently not be an exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips. Kuo reports that Sanan Optoelectronics has developed an equally good chipset. In other words, there are already two companies that are almost ready to supply Apple’s mini-LED technologies. It also means that Apple products next year could ship with this type of screen.
The competition in the development has also reportedly pushed the prices of the chipsets down. What was supposed US$75-85 per chip has now become just $45 per set. It remains to be seen if this cost change will translate to a lower price in the finished product.
Kuo expects that 20-30% of MacBook shipments and 30-40% of iPads will ship with this new screen type.
What can mini-LED screens do?
The current screen technology used by the majority of smartphone and tech companies is OLED. It produces vibrant and sharp colors but still doesn’t give off a realistic tone in some colors.
Mini-LED technology solves this problem. It is especially true for darker blacks and sharper colors. This screen technology adapts thousands of mini LED lights that are powered by a specific chipset technology. Since it uses individual lights, the black portion of the projected image achieves a true black tone as the LED light turns off.
There are six Apple products expected to ship with this type of screen in 2021. As earlier predicted by analysts, Apple will release three iPads: the iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and the latest generation of the basic iPad. The 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the 27-inch iMac Pro will also follow suit.
Image from Dhru J/Unsplash