Apple contracts LG Display to supply mini-LED LCDs for next iPad Pros; mass production to commence next month with fifth-generation release in Q1 2021
Apple will be releasing fifth-generation iPad Pros in early 2021, according to ETNews. Specifically, the follow-up to this year's iPad Pro refresh will arrive in Q1 2021, possibly around the anniversary of the fourth-generation models in March. A release date of March 2021 for the iPad Pro would be rather unusual though, as Apple has left 18-20 months between generations so far.
Nonetheless, ETNews claims that the next iPad Pro series will feature mini-LED screens, a rumour that has been kicking around for months now. In April, MacRumors reported that production issues with mini-LED panels had delayed the release of the fifth-generation iPad Pros until early 2021. ETNews adds that LG Display will supply Apple with mini-LED LCDs, and that these will enter mass production before the end of this year.
ETNews states that LG Display has finalised the supply chain for its mini-LED LCDs. Epistar, based in Taiwan, will supply the mini-LEDs, with TSMT chosen to mount the mini-LEDs. The switch to mini-LED panels should allow Apple to produce tablets with higher contrast ratios than current models. As it stands, mini-LED panels have around 1,000 local dimming zones, with each LED measuring anywhere from 0.1 to 0.2 mm. Contrast ratios will not be as high as on OLED panels, but mini-LED screens should look noticeably more vibrant than current IPS ones.