This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The supply chain information reinforces analyst predictions that the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be Apple's first device with a mini-LED backlight (as a non-display product).
Mini-LED is a method of dividing the backlight into smaller sections while retaining the traditional LCD + backlight LED structure. Combining this with local dimming technology that can control the brightness of each area makes it possible to "partially turn off the backlight" and achieve the same high purity of black and contrast as an OLED panel. Furthermore, while it is expected to save power, it is also considered superior to OLED in terms of resistance to burn-in, since it contains no organic substances.
According to DigiTimes, a source familiar with Taiwan's supply chain information, Apple plans to launch an iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch mini-LED backlight in early 2021. They will use as many as 10,000 mini-LEDs supplied by Taiwan's Epistar, according to sources. Incidentally, the first Apple product to use mini-LEDs was the Pro Display XDR, which only had 576 of them.
And sources say that Apple is planning to add Germany-based Osram Opto Semiconductor as a mini-LED supplier, and that it is also verifying mini-LEDs from Sanan Optoelectronics, a pioneering company in the Chinese LED industry.
This information from DigiTimes is generally in line with the latest research report by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo expects the new iPad Pro to be released at the end of 2020, which is a slight deviation in timing, but roughly within the margin of error. The report predicted that the adoption of mini-LEDs would spread rapidly as a result of Apple having several mini-LED suppliers compete with each other to significantly lower their costs.
The DigiTimes article also reports that although mini-LED backlights still cost at least 20-30% more than regular LEDs, many laptop vendors are planning to launch 15.6-inch, 16-inch, and 17.3-inch devices in the first half of 2021, according to the rumor mill. The mini-LED backlight, which has a number of advantages over traditional LCDs, may be adopted by a variety of manufacturers and genres, not just by Apple.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.