14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce.


Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that Apple plans to release at least six Mini-LED products by the end of 2021, including 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, so reports are beginning to align.

Mini-LED displays offer many of the same benefits as OLED displays on the latest iPhones, including high brightness and high contrast ratio. The panels could also allow for thinner and lighter product designs.

As part of WWDC last month, Apple announced that it will be switching to its own custom-designed processors for Macs starting later this year, and it expects the transition to be completed in around two years. Given this timeframe, it is certainly possible that these 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will be powered by Apple Silicon.

TrendForce also expects Apple to release a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display in the first quarter of 2021, in line with recent rumors. The research firm expects the device to have a 5nm-based A14X chip. As with iPhone 12 models, the next iPad Pro models are also expected to feature 5G connectivity.

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Kuo: ‘AirPods 3’ Expected to Use Similar System-in-Package Technology as AirPods Pro

Apple’s third-generation AirPods will adopt a compact system-in-package (SiP) solution similar to AirPods Pro, according to the latest research note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors.


Apple is expected to launch new entry-level ‌AirPods‌ with a form factor design similar to ‌AirPods Pro‌ in the first half of 2021, and Kuo’s latest note advances his earlier prediction by underlining the need for SiP technology to integrate the earbuds’ audio features into the smaller casing. Introduced in 2019, ‌AirPods Pro‌ feature a different in-ear design to ‌AirPods‌, with shorter stems below the ear.

Based on the so-called “‌AirPods‌ 3” arriving in the first half of next year, Kuo believes current-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ part suppliers should see component shipments grow an estimated 50 percent to 100 percent year over year. The existing second-generation ‌AirPods‌ are expected to be discontinued when the new models are launched.

Amkor, JCET and Huanxu Electronics are in line to supply the SiP components, while Shin Zu Shing is expected to supply the ‌AirPods‌ case hinge, said Kuo.

Overall ‌AirPods‌ shipments are projected to slow in 2021, with growth expected at 28 percent year on year, compared to an expected 65.1 percent growth year on year in 2020, which Kuo believes will be stimulated by Apple’s decision to sell the “iPhone 12” without wired EarPods included in the box.

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Shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones Could Be Much Weaker Than Expected This Year

The latest shipment estimates for Apple’s upcoming mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones are several million units lower than previously expected, which is intensifying competition among suppliers of AiP substrates, reports DigiTimes.

Shipments of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year are estimated to reach only 15-20 million units in 2020 compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units, intensifying competition among Apple’s suppliers of FC-AiP substrates for the new phones, according to industry sources.

Apple is believed to be designing its own antenna-in-package or “AiP” module for mmWave iPhones, which use a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By contrast, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

According to DigiTimes, Apple’s AIP package is more cost-effective than previous designs, 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. To counter these challenges, Apple has diversified its supply chain for the modules to minimize risk.

The upcoming mmWave 5G iPhones will adopt more cost-effective FC-AiP process, with ASE Technology to package AiP modules, the sources said. But Apple reportedly has finalized three suppliers of BT-based FC-AiP substrates, including one based in Taiwan and two in South Korea, and they will together supply 30-50 million substrates, the sources said, adding one iPhone will require 2-3 AiP modules.

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 12” 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, but other analysts have said they believe the mmWave iPhones may not arrive this year because Apple’s custom antenna-in-package is proving to be more of a battery drain than the company would like.

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

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iPhone 12 Production Expected to Begin in July

Apple will complete the second phase of its “EVT” or “Engineering Validation and Testing” stage for its upcoming iPhone 12 lineup at the end of June and begin production of the models in July, according to a paywalled DigiTimes report.


The wording of the report suggests that all ‌iPhone 12‌ models will enter production next month, but it is unclear if that will result in all models launching simultaneously. While it is likely that Apple announces its ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup in September as usual, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and others have previously claimed that higher-end models with support for ultra-fast mmWave 5G will face a delayed launch due to production challenges.

Specifically, Kuo said that production of mmWave iPhones would be “pushed back” because of antenna-in-package design changes in early April. Lower-end ‌iPhone 12‌ models are expected to support sub-6GHz 5G.

Apple is expected to release four new iPhones later this year, including two ‌iPhone 12‌ models with 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch displays and two ‌iPhone 12‌ Pro models with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays. All four models are expected to feature OLED displays, 5G support, and a smaller notch, while the two higher models are rumored to gain a LiDAR sensor.

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Apple Expected to Announce ARM-Based Mac Plans at WWDC, Transition Away From Intel to Begin in 2021

Apple plans to announce its upcoming shift to ARM-based Macs at its virtual WWDC event later this month, giving developers several months to prepare for the transition, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.


The report claims that the first ARM-based Macs will be released in 2021, adding that Apple plans to eventually transition its entire lineup of Mac notebooks and desktops to the custom-designed processors. This lines up with a timeframe shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple plans to release several ARM-based Macs starting next year.

ARM-based Macs are expected to have several advantages over existing Intel-based Macs, including faster performance and reduced power consumption. Apple would also no longer be at the mercy of Intel’s development schedule.

Gurman reiterates that Apple is developing at least three Mac processors, with the first based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. TSMC is expected to manufacture the Mac processors based on its advanced 5nm process.

Apple’s first Mac processor is expected to have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company apparently designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

WWDC 2020 begins the week of June 22 as an online-only event. Apple has promised a virtual keynote, where it is expected to introduce iOS 14 and other new software, and seemingly its ARM-based Mac plans too.

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iPad Pro With A14X Chip, 5G, and Mini-LED Display Expected in First Half of 2021

Apple plans to launch new iPad Pro models with an A14X chip, 5G connectivity, and a Mini-LED display in the first or second quarter of 2021, according to the increasingly reliable Twitter account L0vetodream.


The leaker claims that the new iPad Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, which supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz. mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, ideal 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.



iPhone 12 models are also expected to use the X55 modem, but beyond that, Apple is reportedly developing its own 5G baseband technology for future devices. Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business last year to bolster that effort.

While multiple sources initially pointed towards a late 2020 refresh of the iPad Pro, including Ming-Chi Kuo and Jon Prosser, there have now been several reports indicating that the new A14X/5G/Mini-LED models are likely to debut in 2021. This would make sense given that Apple just refreshed the iPad Pro in March, and even though that was a relatively minor update, another refresh later this year would seem rather quick.

New features on the latest iPad Pro models include an A12Z Bionic chip that is very similar to the A12X chip, an Ultra Wide camera that enables 0.5x zoom, a LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality, and better sounding microphones.

L0vetodream accurately revealed several details about the new iPhone SE before any other leakers that we know of, including that the device would launch in the second week of April and come in three storage capacities. Likewise, the account accurately claimed that new iPad Pro models would launch in the third week of March.


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Samsung Expected to Provide Nearly 80% of OLED Displays for iPhone 12 Lineup

Despite Apple’s focus on diversifying its suppliers for various components in its products, Samsung Display is expected to still provide nearly 80 percent of the OLED displays used in this year’s “iPhone 12” lineup, according to a preview of a DigiTimes report that will be published in full tomorrow.

Samsung Display has obtained nearly 80% of the overall panel orders for Apple’s next-generation iPhone series tentatively dubbed ‌iPhone 12‌ slated for launch later this year, according to industry sources. LG Display and BOE are other panel suppliers for the upcoming iPhones.

Samsung was the exclusive display supplier for Apple’s first OLED ‌iPhone‌, the ‌iPhone‌ X back in 2017. LG came on board the following year as a second supplier, and BOE is now reportedly entering Apple’s supply chain for the 2020 phones as Apple goes all-OLED in its flagship lineup for the first time.

Apple is widely rumored to be launching four new ‌iPhone‌ models in the usual September or October timeframe, although supply constraints and delays in production ramp-up may lead to a somewhat staggered release as we’ve seen in recent years.

Of the four new models coming this year, rumors have indicated that Samsung will supply the displays for three models: the 5.4-inch entry-level ‌iPhone 12‌ and 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch “‌iPhone 12‌ Pro” models. The fourth new model, a 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 12‌ with similar specs to the entry-level model, is where BOE and LG are said to be supplying displays.

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Powerbeats Pro Leaked in Four New Colors, Release Expected in Early June

iOS 14 Leak Shows Off Apple-Branded QR Codes Found in ‘Gobi’ AR App

A leaked version of the iOS 14 update has been circulating for a few months, giving us an idea of what Apple is working on behind the scenes for the new update.
Details about iOS 14 have been trickling out, and today, Josh Constine (formerly of TechCrunch) has shared leaked Apple QR codes, details about Apple’s work on an AR app, and sounds for the upcoming Apple Tags in his Moving Product…

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Low-Power LTPO Technology Not Expected on iPhones Until 2021, Possibly Delaying ProMotion

Multiple sources have indicated that Apple is considering expanding its ProMotion technology to the iPhone, allowing for a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz for smoother motion content and greater responsiveness. The feature debuted on the iPad Pro in 2017.


The rumors began in July 2019 when a reputable Samsung leaker known as “Ice Universe” on Twitter said Apple was considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate on at least one iPhone in 2020. This was followed by a DigiTimes Taiwan report in October that claimed Apple would release an iPhone with a 120Hz display this year.

More recently, both Max Weinbach and Jon Prosser have claimed that this year’s higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models will in fact support ProMotion, although Prosser said there is a possibility that Apple could disable ProMotion at the software level prior to the devices launching if it decides the feature consumes too much battery life.

On that note, display analyst Ross Young today tweeted that the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note20+ will be the only flagship smartphone in 2020 to feature low-power LTPO display technology, adding that the iPhone will follow in 2021.


Young believes LTPO is essential if Apple plans to support ProMotion on the iPhone, as it would allow for a variable refresh as low as 1Hz when the device is inactive to optimize battery life. As with the Apple Watch Series 5, the technology could also pave the way for iPhones to have an always-on display option next year.

Here is how Apple describes LTPO for the Watch:

The low temperature poly-silicon and oxide display features a reinvented pixel architecture that lets the screen refresh rate dip from 60Hz to a power-sipping 1Hz when the watch is inactive. A new low-power driver, ultra-efficient power management, and a new ambient light sensor work together so the display can stay always on with up to 18 hours of battery life.

It is worth noting that the iPad Pro supports ProMotion without LTPO, so perhaps the feature really will launch on the iPhone this year, but it sounds like there is a possibility that Apple will simply wait until 2021.


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Apple Expected to Stockpile 5G iPhones in Advance Due to Concerns Over Possible Component Shortages

Apple is expected to build up inventories of its upcoming 5G iPhones in advance due to concerns over possible component shortages amid the global health crisis, according to sources cited by the Nikkei Asian Review.


An excerpt from the report:

Apple has notified several of its suppliers that it plans to make about 213 million iPhones in the 12 months through March 2021, up 4% from the same period a year ago, despite some suppliers’ belief that orders could end up being significantly lower, Nikkei has learned.

The report claims that production of current models like the new iPhone SE and the upcoming 5G models will be split nearly 50-50.

Apple plans to release four 5G-enabled iPhones later this year, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources. All four models are expected to feature OLED displays, flatter edges like the iPhone 5 or the 2018 and later iPad Pro, and a smaller notch.

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