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Apple Wins a Patent for micro-LED based Displays that could be used in Future iMacs, MacBooks iDevices and a TV

More Details about the Rumor of a 31.6" iMac using mini-LED Surfaces pointing to Potential Suppliers and more

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A new Digitimes report published today covers yesterday's Kuo Ming-chi at TF International Securities rumor that Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019 while adding new information.  


The Digitimes account adds that a 10- to 12-inch iPad to be unveiled in fourth-quarter 2020 or first-quarter 2021, and a 15- to 17-inch MacBook to be introduced in first-half 2021. This is unusual for anyone to know what Apple is doing 2 years out.


The Digitimes report goes deeper than yesterday's round of Kuo Ming-chi' rumors adding that "Apple is motivated by mini LED backlighting's support for wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, high dynamic range and local dimming.


The backlight unit (BLU) to be used in the 31.6-inch iMac will be made of about 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, with Japan-based Nichia to supply the LEDs, Kuo said.


Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini LED BLU because the chip size is much larger than those of standard mini LEDs, according to industry sources. However, the use of such a BLU will give opportunities for the supply chain to improve mini LED production in cost and yield rate, the sources noted.


But more than 10,000 mini LEDs will be needed for the iPad BLU, with the LEDs to be produced by Epistar, the LCD panels by LG Display and BLUs by Radiant Opto-Electronics, the sources said, adding the three companies will also be in the supply chain for the mini LED-backlit MacBook.


Epistar has broken into the Apple supply chain through TE Opto, a joint venture it established with Japan-based Toyoda Gosei to obtain licensed use of Toyoda's patents concerning mini LED technology, the sources indicated."


The iPad's using mini-LED makes sense because mass production is needed. However, when it comes to a limited amount of a new high end 31.6" iMacs, you have to wonder if Apple won't try to release their first micro-LED product using technology that they acquired from LuxVu back in May 2014.


Will Apple start with mini-LED and eventually advance to using micro-LED over time or will they finally make the leap with a home grown solution and surprise the market? Only time will tell.


Two of the latest micro-LED patents published were covered in our reports noted below:


One: A new Micro-LED Patent Application from Apple was published in Europe this week covering a Microdriver Chip. Apple mentioned a TV in that patent, so a 31.5" Mac Display would fit the bill nicely.


Two: Apple's Patent Reveals Micro-LED based 'Smart-Pixel' Technology for Possible Future iMacs, iPhone & TV


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