Apple launched the mini-LED display in 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro in April, this year and the company is expected to introduce the advanced display panel in the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro, later this year. Therefore, to meet its supply demands, the Cupertino tech giant is looking for more mini-LED manufacturers.
Currently, Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT) is the single supplier of SMT (surface mounting technology) for the iPad Pro. At the time of launch, the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro delivery dates were extended to more than 2 months because of the supply chain shortage of the mini-LED display for the display technology is new for the manufacturers who found it challenging to meet Apple’s specific criteria. The delay reportedly cost the company $4 billion in revenue. And now the Cupertino tech giant is working to introduce the same display technology in the upcoming MacBook Pro models, therefore, it is looking to expand its mini-LED supply chain.
Apple is exploring other mini-LED suppliers for SMT services
Previously, DigiTimes reported that “TSMT is the exclusive provider of SMT services for the recently launched 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s miniLED backlights and is expected to do the same for the two upcoming miniLED-backlit MacBook models, the sources said.” However, the manufacture was facing difficulties in the production of mini-LED due to issues with PCBs and adhesive materials, TSMT’s yield rates for surface mounting for miniLED backlighting was not high enough originally, the sources noted.”
Although TSMT resolved the SMT issues by changing PCB and adhesive material suppliers for the new MacBook Pro, Apple is on the lookout for more suppliers to divide the load. DigiTimes paywalled article viewed by MacRumors states that;
Apple is looking for suppliers beyond Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology, or TSMT, to assist in mounting electrical components onto circuit boards for the mini-LED display in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and upcoming MacBook Pros.
Industry sources claim that the alleged 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are on track for launch in the second half of 2021. The models will be powered by next-generation M1x Apple Silicon and come with a new flat edge-to-edge iPhone 12-like design language, new mini-LED XDR displays with thinner bezels, powerful new M2 chips, MagSafe charging, HDMI port, and SD card reader and more.