Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, a 10- to 12-inch iPad to be unveiled in fourth-quarter 2020 or first-quarter 2021, and a 15- to 17-inch MacBook to be introduced in first-half 2021, according to a analyst Kuo Ming-chi at TF International Securities.
Apple has been working on mini LED technology for a while, and DigiTimes explains that the reasons for the move to the new technology include improved local dimming and dynamic range along with a higher contrast ratio and wider color gamut than its displays are currently capable of offering.
The backlight unit (BLU) to be used in the 31.6-inch iMac will be made of about 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, with Japan-based Nichia to supply the LEDs, Kuo said.
Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini LED BLU because the chip size is much larger than those of standard mini LEDs, according to industry sources. However, the use of such a BLU will give opportunities for the supply chain to improve mini LED production in cost and yield rate, the sources noted.
The report has Epistar as the company that will produce the mini LEDs, with as huge numbers needed for even the smallest of displays.