This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
With the recent announcement of the 4th generation iPad Air, the upcoming iPad Pro has been getting a lot of attention, especially for its release date. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2020 and will be the first Apple product to feature a mini-LED display - according to a leading analyst estimate.
Apple's first mini-LED display is likely to be on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the new 11-inch version of the iPad Pro expected to be slightly delayed, according to a recent research report by Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst known for his insider information on Apple. It's also said that Apple may be making a big push for mini-LEDs as a technology to boost sales of the more expensive larger model.
In mini-LED, the conventional LCD + backlight LED structure is retained, but the backlight is divided into smaller sections. Combining this with local dimming, which allows the brightness to be controlled for each area, makes it possible to partially turn off the backlight, enabling high-purity blacks and high contrast, similar to OLED panels.
Not only that, but it can be expected to conserve power, and because it contains no organic substances, it is considered superior to OLED in terms of resistance to burnout.
Initially, it was expected that Apple would move its iPad and MacBook series to OLED displays. OLED was first used in the small screen of the Apple Watch, followed by the iPhone X. This year's flagship iPhone 12 series is expected to have all OLED screens, and it was thought that larger-screen devices would be next in line.
However, about a year ago, Kuo offered a prediction that future high-end MacBooks and iPads would use mini-LED displays. Since then, he has predicted that six mini-LED-powered products are in development, and he recently stated that the use of mini-LEDs in Apple products will continue to accelerate.
However, the cost of mini-LEDs still seems to be relatively expensive. Nevertheless, Kuo's rationale for claiming that mini-LEDs will be widely adopted in Apple products is that he predicts that Apple will lower its procurement prices by making mini-LED suppliers compete with each other.
According to the latest report, the cost of mini-LED chips is expected to fall by 50% in 2021 and by a further 35% in 2022. It states that mini-LEDs are no longer a "technology development" to "economies of scale" (cost reduction due to mass production effects) phase.
Kuo argues that the results of the price war are already being seen in the market for mini-LED-equipped TVs, with costs dropping dramatically. (In fact, a 65-inch mini-LED TV is priced in the 100,000 yen range on Amazon.) A combination of reduced production costs and economies of scale, as well as Chinese government subsidies, are expected to continue to reduce Apple's costs, according to the report.
The fourth-generation iPad Air, which was introduced at a new product launch event in September, features the latest A14 Bionic chip, supports the second-generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, and some say it has all the "best parts of the Pro" in it. After that, the only way to make it "the Pro-ness" might be to give it an enhancement, such as a new display.
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.