Apple suppliers reportedly gearing up to build mini-LEDs for 2020 iPad Pro

Piggy-backing on a recent analyst report by Ming-Chi Kuo which indicated that the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro might adopt promising mini-LED display technology in 2020, a trade publication this morning has provided additional details suggesting that a bunch of Taiwanese suppliers are now poised to received orders for mini-LEDs from Apple.

According to DigiTimes, as many as five different suppliers will receive orders for display components to be used in an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro that’s set to arrive in 2020:

  • Epistar
  • General Interface Solution (GIS)
  • Flexium Interconnect
  • Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT)
  • Zhen Ding Technology

Epistar should supply tiny mini-LED chips 200 microns x 200 microns in size while GIS and LG Display are most likely to obtain orders for mini-LED backlight units. GIS currently supplies touch and LCD modules used in iPads. TSMT is rumored to provide surface-mounted technology while Zhen Ding and Flexium should be behind flexible printed circuit boards.

It’s estimated that a single iPad Pro will use a whopping 10,000 mini LED chips versus 576 LEDs powering localized backlight in Apple’s upcoming Pro Display XDR.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes mini-LED technology will “significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience” of the next iPad Pro. Other perks afforded by these ultra tiny chips include thinner display assemblies, deeper blacks, as well as higher brightness and contrast ratio, to mention but a few.

Apple’s adoption of mini-LEDs has been years in the making and based on several acquisitions that have enabled it to accelerate the development of this promising technology.

Because mini-LEDs offer many of the same benefits of OLED displays, switching to that technology would certainly significantly reduce Apple’s exposure to Samsung Display, which currently supplies it with OLED panels used in the latest iPhones.