Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro at the end of the first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes.
Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics.
Apple is expected to introduce the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Mini-LED backlight in the first half of this year, with Epistar as the exclusive supplier of Mini-LED chips that Lextar will package in backlight units, the report states. . This time frame has been rumored multiple times, with some reports narrowing a release to the first quarter, so the new iPad Pro may be unveiled in March.
The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also expected to feature a faster A14X chip and support for 5G networks on models with cellular connectivity.
It is unclear if Apple plans to introduce a new 11-inch iPad Pro at the same time, as many rumors have only mentioned the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. One possibility is that the Mini-LED backlighting is limited to the 12.9-inch model, with the key new features of the 11-inch model limited to the A14X chip and 5G support, but it’s unclear.
Apple is also likely to adopt Mini-LED backlighting for new MacBook models to be unveiled in the second half of this year, according to the report. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models to launch in the second half of 2021 with a new design, the return of an HDMI port and an SD card reader, the removal of the touch bar, classic MagSafe charging with a detachable power cord and more.