A new report by DigiTimes claims that Apple has signed Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (Taiwan SMT) as a partner to manufacture mini-LED panels for upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models.
This will be Taiwan SMT’s first experience as an Apple supplier who will provide display panels for future products to the tech giant along with Samsung and LG Display.
Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (Taiwan SMT) will undertake SMT process for mini LED backlighting of 12.9-inch iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, becoming an Apple supply chain maker for the first time, according to industry sources.
Advancement in mini-LED tech takes Apple closer to the adoption of hybrid OLED in iPads by 2024
In 2021, Apple switched from LCD to a mini-LED display for 12.9-inch iPad Pro. In comparison to conventional LED, the mini-LED backlighting tech delivers deeper blacks, bolder colors, and brighter HDR. The Verge states that mini-LED tech takes LCD panels closer to the contrast and black levels of OLED panels.
Mini LED, the technology powering the 12.9-inch iPad Pro display, is designed to bring the LCD panel as close as possible to OLED’s contrast and black levels. Its display pixels are not self-lit, but instead lit from behind. The trick is that they’re lit by 10,000 tiny LED lights split up by software into 2,500 local dimming zones. It’s almost like the backlight itself is a lower-resolution screen behind the screen, tracking the image and making sure the black parts of the picture aren’t lit up.
Thus, the addition of a new mini-LED manufacturer in Apple’s supply chain has given weight to the speculation that the tech giant is on the path to developing and commercializing hybrid OLED tech for iPads launching in 2024 while the expansion of mini-LED tech buys it time to do so.
Recently, The Elec reported that Apple is working on new hybrid OLED panels for upcoming iPad models which will be thinner and cheaper than flexible OLED panels used in iPhones.