16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities.


This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently said that Apple suppliers are slated to begin mass production of related components between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, suggesting that the majority if not all of the Mini-LED devices will be released next year.

A few months ago, Kuo said that Apple plans to release six Mini-LED products by the end of 2021, including 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini. The analyst said these displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including improved contrast and dynamic range.

Switching to Mini-LED displays will also allow Apple to distance itself from the Samsung-dominated OLED display market, according to research firm TrendForce, which also expects a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display to launch in 2021.

Apple is reportedly investing over $300 million in new Taiwanese factory that is expected to produce Mini-LED and Micro-LED displays for future devices.

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More Analysts Expect mmWave iPhones to Launch Later Than Sub-6GHz Models

Apple is expected to unveil its first 5G-enabled iPhones in September, but some analysts believe that models with support for ultra-fast mmWave technology will likely launch after sub-6GHz models due to production challenges and the global health crisis.


Apple is believed to be designing its own antenna-in-package or “AiP” module for mmWave iPhones, potentially contributing to the staggered rollout.

“Apart from the epidemic, the power consumption of the AiP module may also affect the launch schedule of the mmWave version,” analyst Jeff Pu wrote in a research note with Chinese investor firm GF Securities this week, suggesting that Apple’s custom antenna-in-package may be more of a drain on battery life than desired.

Likewise, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O’Malley today said “recent data points” suggest that Apple may not be able to ship mmWave iPhones this year. This lines up with information shared by Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini, who previously said that mmWave iPhones could launch as late as January 2021.

Prior to the global health crisis, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave iPhone models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter. Kuo has not indicated whether those plans have since changed.

Kuo said iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom, adding that Apple may disable 5G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.

As a refresher, mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

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12.9-Inch iPad Pro With Mini-LED Display Possibly ‘Delayed’ Until Early 2021

The launch of a new high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Mini-LED may be “delayed” until early 2021 due to the device’s “complex panel design,” analyst Jeff Pu said today in an investor note with Chinese research firm GF Securities.


Back in December, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was developing up to six Mini-LED products, including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an A14X chip for release in the third quarter of 2020. This was before the global health crisis began, however, so it would be understandable if the timeframe has been pushed back due to supply chain disruptions and Apple engineers being forced to work from home until at least early May.

Last month, leaker Jon Prosser said a new 5G-enabled iPad Pro with an A14X chip and no other hardware changes would be introduced in late 2020, barring any delays. If that proves accurate, it would seem really soon for Apple to update the iPad Pro yet again with a Mini-LED display in early 2021, so rumors are not entirely lining up right now.


Apple just refreshed the iPad Pro last month, but it was a relatively minor update, with new features including an A12Z Bionic chip that has since been found to be an A12X chip with an extra GPU core enabled, an Ultra Wide camera that enables 0.5x zoom, a LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality, and better sounding microphones. It was the first update to the iPad Pro since the device received a major redesign in October 2018.

Pu also reiterated that Apple is currently on track to release three new iPhone 12 models in September, including one 5.4-inch model and two 6.1-inch models, followed by the highest-end 6.7-inch model in October.


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