Apple is reportedly getting ready to launch its first mini-LED devices as soon as the first quarter of 2021, with iPad Pro getting the nod. That will be followed by a 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro release, according to TrendForce.
The first release, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, will see Apple make the move from LCD and into a technology that offers many of the benefits of OLED – brightness, deep blacks, and power consumption – without the drawbacks such as screen burn-in.
Trendforce also claims that Apple will use Taiwanese manufacturers for its mini-LED needs as part of its plans to reduce the company’s reliance on Chinese vendors.
Although Chinese manufacturers currently possess enormous production capacity and cost advantages in the upstream and downstream LED supply chain, Apple has instead chosen to collaborate with Taiwanese manufacturers (which form a more stable supply chain), in an effort to avoid impacts from the China-U.S. trade war.
A separate report also says that Apple silicon will be more cost-effective than similar chips offered by Intel – another reason the switch away from Intel’s Core processors is so important.
Although Apple still needs TSMC to manufacture its self-designed processors, the production cost of a Mac processor made with TSMC’s 5nm node is currently estimated under US$100, which is considerably more cost-effective compared to the 10nm Intel Core i3 processors, priced around US$200 to US$300 on the market.
The first Macs with Apple silicon inside will start to ship before the end of the year, although Apple hasn’t said what those Macs will be. Apple already uses its own chips in iPhones, iPads, and things like the Apple TV and HomePod.
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