Apple has pushed the introduction of mini-LED displays in its product line-up to 2021 because of COVID-19's impact on the production schedule. mini-LED is expected to replace both LED and OLED in Apple's products including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Due to the various advantages that mini-LED offers over both LED and OLED, Apple has invested heavily in production and development for the technology. However, it was expected that Apple would introduce new hardware with mini-LED in the fourth quarter of 2020, but this plan has been delayed to 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic. Ming-Chi Kuo's latest note to investors shares details of the delay:
"We believe that investors do not need to worry too much about the extension of the mini LED schedule, because mini LED is a key technology that Apple will promote in the next 5 years, so even if the short-term schedule is affected by the new coronary pneumonia, it will not damage the long-term positive trend."
Apple has been working on 6 products with mini-LED displays, which include 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, 10.2-inch iPad, and 7.9-inch iPad mini. Ming Chi-Kuo had also confirmed these plans previously. These products were expected to be introduced later this year, as previous reports said that production is unaffected by the pandemic. This no longer seems to be the case.
An iPad Pro with 5G networking and mini-LED is now slated to launch next year, as reported by various analysts. The recently announced 13-inch MacBook Pro also features the same old display size and technology, instead of a 14.1-inch display as rumored.
mini-LED is expected to take over OLED in terms of features and adaptation over the next few years. Compared to OLED, mini-LED can provide higher brightness, better dynamic range and wider contrast. It will also be cheaper to mass-produce compared to OLED, and immune to burn-in issues that plague OLED.
Along with Apple, other companies in the industry are also looking to ramp up mini-LED production and introduce it in displays across a range of products.