A new report today from the China Times says that Apple is planning to unveil a new 23-inch iMac later this year, alongside a new 11-inch iPad Air. The report also elaborates on how COVID-19 is affecting Apple’s planned transition to mini-LED.
The China Times report was first spotted by Macotakara. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a new 11-inch iPad. Just yesterday, we reported on an anonymous user on Twitter who indicated that Apple is developing a new 11-inch iPad Air with Touch ID under the display.
The China Times report unfortunately doesn’t offer much more information on the rumored 11-inch iPad. The report simply says that this year’s “low-cost iPad Air” will feature an increased screen size of “almost 11 inches” with mass production scheduled for Q3.
Apple currently offers the 10.2-inch iPad, which retails for $329, and the 10.5-inch iPad Air, which retails for $499. Bringing in-screen Touch ID to the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad seems unlikely, as the low price point is the main driving factor in its sales. Today’s report even points out that iPad sales are on the rise due to at-home learning guidelines prompted by COVID-19.
Furthermore, the report also says that Apple is developing a new 23-inch iMac that could be be released in Q4 of this year, with mass production beginning in Q3. Apple last updated the iMac in March of last year, bringing new 9th-generation Intel processors.
One possibility would be that the 23-inch iMac is the same physical size as the existing 21.5-inch model, but with reduced bezel sizes. The iMac is long overdue for a design refresh, and this would be a logical change to offer more screen real estate in a similar physical footprint.
The report also says that Apple’s planned transition to mini-LED has been delayed due to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. This follows a report from earlier today that said the 5G iPad Pro with mini-LED had been delayed until 2021, but it didn’t specify whether other Apple hardware would be affected.
According to the report, Apple had intended to bring mini-LED to the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro this year, but those plans have been shifted to 2021 due to COVID-19 delays. Ming-Chi Kuo had previously said that Apple would release a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with mini-LED this year, alongside 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini.
Now, what’s unclear is whether Apple will still release these new products, but without mini-LED displays. For example, reports indicate that we can expect a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor switch keyboard soon, but what about a new version of the iMac Pro without mini-LED?
The China Times report should be treated with some skepticism. Nonetheless, based on this report, combined with other supply chain anecdotes, it appears that Apple’s planned transition to mini-LED is facing several roadblocks due to coronavirus, even as iPhone production pushes ahead.