Apple’s first Mini-LED device to be new iPad Pro, predicts Kuo

The first Apple device to feature a Mini-LED display will be a new iPad Pro, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted in a new research note seen by MacRumors and AppleInsider. Kuo reports that Mini-LED display components will be mass-produced in the fourth quarter of this year, though it’s unclear when the new iPad Pro could actually release. Last year, Kuo predicted a third-quarter 2020 launch for the new iPad Pro with improved display technology. Apple last updated its iPad Pro lineup back in March.

Apple has long been rumored to be developing six devices with the new display technology, which offers similar benefits to OLED — like localized dimming for deeper blacks and higher contrast — without the downside of burn-in. It does this by using an array of thousands of tiny LEDs as a backlight, which can be turned on and off individually to offer a sharper contrast between bright and dark areas of an image.

In March, Kuo said these six devices are a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a new 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini, MacRumors reported at the time. The iMac Pro was reportedly due to launch in the fourth quarter of this year (when Kuo also predicted we’d see a new 16-inch MacBook Pro), while the new iPad mini was said to be coming at some point this year. It’s unclear if these planned release dates have shifted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Release dates aside, Kuo recently said that Apple is accelerating its adoption of the new display tech. Apple reportedly now has more Mini-LED suppliers to choose from, pushing down prices. Kuo predicts that 30-40 percent of iPads shipped in 2021 will feature the new display tech, alongside 20-30 percent of MacBooks.

Apple’s iPad Pro lineup could use the premium new display technology after the announcement of the new 10.9-inch iPad Air last week. With an updated chipset, a USB-C port, and support for the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, the new iPad offers many of the flagship features of the iPad Pro at a much cheaper price, even if it misses out on the Pro’s 120Hz refresh rate display. A Mini-LED display could help the new iPad Pro stand out from the rest of the iPad lineup until the technology becomes cheap enough for use everywhere.

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