Apple’s first iPad with Mini LED display pushed back to 2021

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
This will be Apple's next-gen iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 12 may be proceeding as scheduled, but not every Apple product in development is proceeding in a timely manner. According to a new research note from Hong Kong analyst Jeff Pu, sent Thursday, the forthcoming Mini LED iPad could be pushed back to early 2021.

A previous rumor suggested it would arrive later this year. Pu doesn’t give any explanation for the delay in his note, which was seen by Cult of Mac. However, it could relate to the continued disruption in Apple’s supply chain, which is only now starting to get back on track following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in China.

To be clear, this iPad refresh would be an iPad Pro and not, despite the name, an iPad mini; the latter of which was last given an update in March 2019. This will update the iPad Pro series which received a refresh earlier this year.

Its big new feature will be replacing the OLED display with a Mini LED display. Mini LED has a few advantages for a mobile device. It would make it possible to create thinner and more lightweight designs. It could do this while retaining the color accuracy, high contrast and dynamic range, and efficiency of OLED.

A March report from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the Mini LED technology could be exclusive to a 12.9-inch iPad model initially.

Mini LED iPad and more

Jeff Pu’s research note also touches on a number of other topics. He claims that three of Apple’s new iPhone 12 models will arrive in September, with one following the next month in October. This backs up what Pu said in a recent report. He notes that this schedule is “better than feared” by those who predicted the worst.

He also says that mmWave iPhone progress is “slow.” This refers to the modem technology being used in the 5G iPhones set to debut later this year. Apple is reported to be using Qualcomm cellular modems for the new iPhone. This comes after Apple and Qualcomm repaired their contentious relationship last year. Again, Pu doesn’t give a reason for the slow progress. The fact that he believes the iPhones will debut at the same time as usual suggests that it is not a major issue.

Finally, Pu says that iPad demand is “strong” currently. This backs up a previous report stating that Apple has seen an uptick in orders due to home-based e-learning.