Patently Apple posted a report back in late September 2019 titled "Rumor Claims that Apple will Shift to Mini-LED displays for High-end iPad Pro and MacBooks by 2021," that was followed by a report in March 2020 report titled "Apple's supply chain is ramping up production for the iPad Pro and are excited about a Mini-LED version of the iPad Pro coming this Fall."
Our September report briefly covered a rumor by Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, which predicted that Apple would use a new mini-LED display for at least one iPad Pro model along with MacBook models in the 2020-2021 time frame.
Today a new analytical report from TrendForce stated that as "Apple pushes forward the development of Mini LED backlight technology, the company is expected to incorporate Mini LED backlight technology to improve the performance of its existing products such as the iPad and Pro Display. The application of Mini LED backlight technology is expected to reach 18% penetration rate in the overall market for IT products in 2025.
Since the Mini LED die bonding process requires equipment with high speed and high accuracy, surface-mount technology solutions provider TSMT has procured high-speed die attach equipment from Kulicke & Soffa in response to large-scale, high-spec OEM orders from Apple.
TrendForce Assistant Research Manager Max Chen indicates that the massive expansion of the LED industry has also stimulated a corresponding surge in the peripherals market, which benefits both existing and newly developed LED process equipment."
The beginning of a new shift to mini-LED based displays is exciting a lot of investment in the supply chain. For more on this, read the full TrendForce report.
In a report by 'Medium' describes the difference between Mini-LED, OLED and micro-LED that is superior to OLED. Apple has a few micro-LED patents on record for the next higher-end standard here: 01, 02, 03 & 04.
The higher-end micro-LED displays are probably being reserved for future iPhones. Mini-LED would likely be more suitable for MacBooks and perhaps iPads cost wise over OLED though deliver superior contrast and brightness over LCD.
Mini-LED displays are similar to OLED displays in that they could provide deeper blacks over LCD displays. Future mini-LED displays will definitely be a step above LCD displays though shy of the superior micro-LED display standard that Apple engineers are currently developing.