Apple is expected to adopt mini-LED backlight across a range of upcoming products, beginning with a brand new 31.6-inch iMac coming later this year and continuing with an all-new 15 to 17-inch MacBook Pro model due in the first half of 2021 and ten to twelve-inch iPads reportedly launching between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
That’s according to a new research note penned by Ming-Chi Kuo, the well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, a copy of which was originally obtained by the Economic Daily News newspaper and relayed by MoneyDJ.
The note follows a report published this morning by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes which incorrectly referred to the 31.6-inch display as a new iMac.
According to MacRumors which also obtained Kuo’s note, there’s no mention of an iMac in there. For what it’s worth, Kuo’s wide-ranging note issued in February predicted Apple’s upcoming releases called for an external Apple-branded display with 6K resolution in 2019.
The standalone display, Kuo writes, will feature “outstanding picture quality” thanks to Apples’ adoption of a mini-LED-like backlight design.
DigiTimes has more on the new backlight design:
Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini-LED backlight unit because the chip size is much larger than those of standard mini-LEDs, according to industry sources.
However, the use of such a backlight unit will give opportunities for the supply chain makers to improve mini-LED production in cost and yield rate, the sources noted.
The biggest takeaway here are not the new products which we knew from before would be coming later this year, but rather the fact that Apple will adopt mini-LED backlighting.
According to the revered analyst, the move will bring benefits like wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, high dynamic range and local dimming, powering top-notch HDR video capabilities and resulting in further product differentiation.
9to5Mac’s Jeff Benjamin has more on the mini-LED design:
Essentially regions of the backlight can be turned on and off unlike current Mac displays where the whole backlight panel lights up evenly. If you turn a backlight off in a region you get an effect similar to true black OLED, resulting in enhanced contrast ratio. A mini LED-like backlight design would be more precise, thinner and more energy-efficient.
The backlight powering Apple’s rumored 31.6-inch display should use 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, as per DigiTimes.
The key suppliers of these mini-LED backlight modules should be Japan-based Nichia, Epistar and Radiant Opto-Electronics, with LG Display delivering the LCD panels.
What do you make of this report?