Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late 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 unveil the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Mini-LED backlighting in the first half of this year, with Epistar serving as the exclusive supplier of Mini-LED chips that will be packaged into backlight units by Lextar, the report claims. This timeframe has been rumored several times, with some reports narrowing down a release to the first quarter, so it is possible the new iPad Pro will be introduced 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’s 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 Mini-LED backlighting will be limited to the 12.9-inch model, with the 11-inch model’s key new features limited to the A14X chip and 5G support, but it is unclear.
Apple will likely also 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 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 SD card reader, the removal of the Touch Bar, classic MagSafe charging with a breakaway power cable, and more.