Apple’s first Mini LED products might see delays into 2021

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Get ready to go dark with macOS Mojave Dark Mode.
An update to the iMac Pro with mini LED technology might hit store shelves a little later than originally expected.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first products to incorporate Mini LED display technology might not make it onto store shelves until 2021 due to development delays related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report Thursday from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Those products could include everything from iPad’s to iMacs and laptops.

Kuo reported that various companies manufacturing parts for future Apple products are ready for mass production of LED chips beginning in July. Sources tell Kuo that panel assembly will take place in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by manufacturing of actual products that could be moved into the first quarter of 2021. 

Despite what is currently and potential delay, Kuo believes there is no “need to worry too much about the extension of the Mini LED schedule, because Mini LED is a key technology that Apple will promote for the next five years.

”Even if the short-term schedule is affected by the new coronavirus, it will not damage the long-term positive trend,” he commented.

Slew of new products planned

In March, Kuo reported products that will include mini LED technology would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.2-inch iPad, 7.9-inch iPad mini, 27-inch iMac Pro, an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a new 14.1-inch MacBook Pro this year

It was then that Kuo felt Mini LED development would “remain unaffected.” Now that production is beginning to ramp up with companies in China returning to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears the delay is starting to be built into projections for the manufacturing and production of new Apple products.

Kuo said he expects shipments of devices using Apple’s Mini LED technology to accelerate quickly once mass production begins. He expects year-over-year growth of 300% in 2021 and 225% in 2022.

Kuo’s comments mirror those of Hong Kong analyst Jeff Pu who reported in mid-April that Apple’s first iPad with Mini LED display would be delayed until 2021 under similar circumstances.