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Kuo: Apple is accelerating the adoption of mini LED displays in iPad and Mac notebook lineups



Increasing competition between Apple’s suppliers of mini LED display chips will accelerate the adoption of the advanced technology into its iPad and MacBook lines. This emerges from a new study by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo MacRumors.


According to Kuo, while Epistar was the exclusive supplier of mini LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics has seen better than expected development in technology and will also start shipping Apple in 2021 instead of the previous one estimated time frame of 2022.

The increased delivery capacity and competition between vendors will reportedly bring Apple’s cost of mini LED display chips down from $ 75 to $ 85 to around $ 45. As a result, Kuo estimates that mini-LED technology will be used in around 30 to 40% of iPad‌ shipments and 20 to 30% of MacBook shipments in 2021, compared to previous estimates of 10 to 20% shipping share for both product lines.

While Epistar has met Apple’s mass production requirements, Apple believes Apple continues to seek out new suppliers to reduce delivery risks and costs. Among the second supplier candidates, Sanan Optoelectronics’ development plan and cost are superior to competitors (including Osram and Seoul Semiconductor). We estimate Sanan Optoelectronics will account for 20-30% and 45-55%, respectively, of the mini-LED market share of Apple and non-Apple companies in 2021 and 2022 (up from our previous estimates of 0% and 10-20%) becomes. The demand for mini-LEDs in China has increased, so we believe that Sanan Optoelectronics will benefit significantly from the mini-LED business in the next 3-5 years.

It is rumored that Apple has been trying to introduce mini-LED display technology to its iPad Pro and Mac notebook lineups for some time, and Kuo said about six months ago that Apple has six mini-LED products in its pipeline Planned by the end products include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 27-inch iMac Pro, 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, 10.2 Inch iPad and a 7.9 inch iPad mini.

As we pointed out in our guide to mini LED technology, the displays on the order of 1,000-10,000 individual LEDs use a number of improvements over traditional backlit LED displays that approach the performance of OLED displays without some of the LEDs come disadvantages of this technology.

Mini-LED displays can offer deeper, darker blacks, lighter brightnesses, richer colors and better contrast compared to conventional LED-based displays, although the cost of the technology is rising significantly for the time being.


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