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Future iPad, Macs With mini-LEDs May Have Reduced Pricing as Apple Looks to Lower Component Costs From Multiple Suppliers

Sep 21, 2020 07:47 EDT
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Apple is reported to shift to mini-LED technology for future iPad and Macs, with Epistar said to be the exclusive supplier of these chips for products arriving in 2021. However, it looks like the California-based giant might add a second supplier in the mix, allowing increased competition between the company’s partners, leading to cheaper component costs.

mini-LED Component Costs May Reduce to $45 From the Earlier Predicted $75-$85 Range

A new report from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Sanan Optoelectronics has experienced better than expected development on mini-LED screen technology and therefore, will likely supply Apple with the required components starting in 2021 rather than the previously estimated timeframe of 2022. With the increased competition between the two suppliers, the component cost for mini-LED may see a drastic drop. Given below is a portion of the research note obtained by MacRumors.

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“Although Epistar has met Apple's mass production requirements, we believe that Apple continues to look for new suppliers in order to reduce supply risks and costs. Among the second supplier candidates, Sanan Optoelectronics' development schedule and cost are superior to competitors (including Osram and Seoul Semiconductor). We predict that Sanan Optoelectronics will have 20–30% and 45–55% of Apple’s mini LED market share in 2021 and 2022, respectively (vs. our previous estimates of 0% and 10–20%), plus non-Apple. The demand for mini LEDs in China has grown, so we believe that Sanan Optoelectronics will significantly benefit from the mini LED business in the next 3-5 years.”

According to estimates, Apple may have to pay $45 per mini-LED instead of the previous estimate that hovered in the range of $75 to $85. Unfortunately, Kuo hasn’t reported if these component cost savings will be passed down to the customer but it looks like we’ll find out in the near future. With Apple potentially being able to generate more revenue per mini-LED iPad or Mac sold, Kuo reports that this display technology will appear in roughly 30–40 percent of ‌iPad‌ shipments and 20–30 percent of MacBook shipments in 2021.

This is a drastic increase compared to the previous estimates of 10–20 percent shipment share for both product lines. After mini-LED, Apple is said to gravitate to microLED, but according to previous reports, it might take the company three years to make the switch. When the first crop of products come out, let us see what benefits they bring to the table.

News Source: MacRumors

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