Following its report earlier this week indicating that Apple will accelerate the adoption of mini-LED screens in its iPad and Mac laptop series thanks to better-than-expected development from potential secondary provider Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today that shares a slightly more perspective on the mini-LED display market when it comes to Apple.
Kuo says that Epistar is still Apple’s first partner for mini-LED chips, but that Sanan and others can quickly join Apple’s supply chain, as existing patents are not expected to serve as significant barriers to entry. As a result, mini-LED efforts from Apple and its suppliers have effectively moved from the “technology development” phase to the “economies of scale / cost” phase.
While Sanan has seen a rapid development of its mini-LED features that could allow it to ship large amounts of chips to Apple in the first half of 2021, Kuo says Epistar has experienced some return issues that have led Kuo to reduce its fourth quarter. Estimates for 2020 viewing shipments by 50% to between 300,000 and 400,000.
Kuo has said that Apple has at least six iPad and Mac products with mini-LED screens in its pipeline for launch by the end of 2021, but he indicates that the first batch of screens coming by the end of 2020 will be for an iPad Pro. .
Apple’s mini LED arrays will be mass-produced in 4Q20, but due to yield issues related to the production process of display module materials, 4Q20 display shipments have been revised down by 50% to 300,000-400,000. We believe that the mini-LED screen in the 4Q20 will be used for the new iPad Pro.
Kuo has long predicted that an advanced 12.9-inch iPad Pro will probably be Apple’s first mini-LED product.
As indicated in its previous report, Kuo sees fierce price competition among Apple’s mini-LED suppliers in 2021, and predicts that Apple’s costs for the mini-LED doors will fall by 50% in 2021 and a further 35% in 2022.
Mini-LED screens, which use in the range of 1000 to 10,000 individual LEDs, can offer deeper, darker blacks, brighter lights, richer colors and better contrast compared to traditional LED-based screens, although the technology comes at a significant increase in cost for the time being.