Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight devices 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 quoted by DigiTimes.
Ennostar is a holding company 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 backlight in the first half of the year, with Epistar as the exclusive supplier of Mini-LED chips that are packed in backlight by Lextar, the report claims. This time frame has been rumored several times, with some reports limiting a release to the first quarter, so it is possible that the new iPad Pro will be introduced in March.
The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also expected to have a faster A14X chip and support for 5G networks on models with a mobile connection.
It is unclear whether 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 backlight will be limited to the 12.9-inch model, with the 11-inch model’s most important new features limited to the A14X chip and 5G support, but that is unclear.
Apple is also likely to adopt Mini-LED backlighting for new MacBook models to be unveiled in the second half of the year, according to the report. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models to be launched in the second half of 2021 with a new design, return of an HDMI port and SD card reader, removal of Touch Bar, classic MagSafe charging with a breakable power cable and more.