Apple still plans new iPad Pro with Mini LED display for late 2020, report claims


The new iPad Pro could be one of two refreshes planned for 2020.
Photo: Apple

Apple is planning another iPad Pro refresh for 2020 that will introduce its first Mini LED display, according to a new report. The technology could pave the way for thinner devices, but it may be exclusive to 12.9-inch models initially.

Apple’s most recent iPad Pro refresh, unveiled on Wednesday, is expected to boost shipments by as much as 40% in the meantime.

Just a few days ago, Apple’s plans for the iPad Pro were a little unclear. We had heard whispers of a refresh this spring, but other reports claimed Apple was preparing other upgrades that wouldn’t be available until the fall.

Now that spring refresh is confirmed, is it possible a second upgrade will come this fall? It is, according to industry sources who have been speaking to Digitimes.

Second iPad Pro refresh to bring Mini LED

Apple is said to have decided on Mini LED displays, rather than OLED displays, for another iPad Pro refresh planned for the fourth quarter of 2020. The company could bring the same technology to other devices later.

Mini LED offers a number of benefits for mobile devices. It paves the way for thinner and more lightweight designs, while competing with OLED on things like color accuracy, high contrast and dynamic range, and efficiency.

A previous report from reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which also predicted iPad Pro would get Mini LED displays this year, suggests the technology could be exclusive to a 12.9-inch model initially.

Other rumors have indicated a fall iPad Pro refresh could bring 5G connectivity to iPad for the first time. The most recent models offer faster gigabit-class LTE — but it’s still LTE.

What next for Mini LED?

Mini LED technology wouldn’t remain exclusive to one Apple device for long. Like OLED screens, which first debuted in Apple Watch, the technology will almost certainly make its way to other products later.

Kuo earlier in March predicted Apple will also bring Mini LED screens to a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, an iMac, and other iPad models. Apple is expected to invest heavily in Mini LED manufacturers in the coming years to ensure steady supply.

Digitimes also reports that the newest iPad Pro, which debuts next week, will see supplier shipments ramp up by as much as 40% in the second quarter. It is believed the COVID-19 pandemic, which is forcing more and more people to work from home, will help boost iPad sales.