News & Events

Osram Opto reportedly to become mini LED supplier for Apple

Osram Opto Semiconductors is expected to supply backlight-use mini LED for high-end MacBook in second-half 2021, becoming Apple's second supplier of such chips next to Taiwan-based Epistar, according to industry sources.

Apple is expected to launch 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021, with each tablet to use over 10,000 mini LEDs solely supplied by Epistar, the sources said. Epistar is ready to start production of mini LEDs by modifying its blue-light LED chipmaking equipment for producing such mini LEDs in third-quarter 2020, the sources noted.

Apple will also launch mini LED-backlit high-end MacBook in second-half 2021, will seek additional suppliers of mini LEDs to secure stable supply, the sources said. As a supplier of backlight-use LEDs for Apple Watch and iPhone, Osram Opto is expected to become another supplier of MacBook-use mini LEDs, and set up initial monthly production capacity of 100 million mini LEDs at its plant in Malaysia, the sources indicated.

China-based Sanan Optoelectronics's mini LEDs are also being validated by Apple, the sources said.

Epistar aims to hike yield rates for mini LEDs from below 80% in third-quarter 2020 to 85% in fourth-quarter 2020 and to over 90% in first-half 2021, the sources said.

Cost for mini LED backlighting is at least 20-30% higher than that for regular LED backlighting, the sources noted. But many notebook vendors plan to launch 15.6-, 16.0- and 17.3-inch mini LED-backlit devices in first-half 2021, the sources indicated.