Rumors about Mini-LED iPads have been bouncing around for well over a year. Thanks to the effects of a worldwide pandemic, they have been all over the place in more recent months. First these new devices were coming in 2020 and later they were reported to be delayed until next year. The Mini-LED iPad Pro is still pegged for a 2021 debut. That said, now a report from DigiTimes says that Mini-LED could be back on for late 2020.
However, that is literally all that the article states, at least as far as the iPad goes. It doesn’t point to a specific model, or timeframe for release. It simply points out that a model may come later this year and what suppliers should benefit from that change.
Those who may receive a boost include: driver IC designers Novatek Microelectronics, Macroblock and Parade Technologies; packaging and testing service providers ChipMOS Technologies and Chipband Technology; semiconductor and optoelectronic device testing and inspection equipment makers MPI and Chroma ATE; and LED probing, sorting and testing equipment vendor FitTech, the sources said.
While 8-inch COF packaging used in driver ICs for LED backlighting can also be used in those for mini LED backlighting, gross margins for the latter are higher, the sources noted. Chroma has offered AOI equipment for mini LED backlight units, the sources indicated.
Normally I would consider dismissing a rumor like this one, but after the other recent report from Ming-Chi Kuo that I wrote about yesterday, DigiTime’s story feels like it may have some potential. Kuo says we are getting a new iPad, likely either a base-model iPad or an iPad Air, sometime before the end of the year. Now we hear that an iPad slated for this year will have a brand new Mini-LED screen. Could these two iPad tales be intertwined?
It is certainly possible. Personally, I think that if this is true, it means that yesterday’s report from Kuo really is about a new 10.8” iPad Air. I just don’t see Apple leading off a new screen technology like Mini-LED, a significant new technology that will be rolled out across the lineup, with a low-end device. Frankly, it’s a little odd that it would even be the mid-range iPad Air, but that still makes more sense than the iPad.
There’s no way to know quite yet if Mini-LED will be coming to an iPad later this year, but maybe these two reports from Apple leak heavyweights Ming-Chi Kuo and DigiTimes really will turn out to be intertwined. I certainly hope so.