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Shipment of Apple’s Mini LED iPad Pro expected to Reach Five Million Units this year

During Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event yesterday, the company announced the upcoming release of its latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro models featuring mini-LED display technology. 

According to TrendForce’s latest investigations, demand for the tablet has already been relatively high in the niche markets. And given the thorough improvement in specs as well as the “very slight price hike of merely $100” over the previous generation, the research group is not only revising up its shipment forecast for the 2021 version of the 12-inch iPad Pro from four million units to five million units this year, but also expecting this product to account for a 3.1% share in the global tablet market, compared to the previous forecast of 2.5%.

TrendForce analyst Max Chen indicates three key areas of observation with respect to Apple’s latest flagship tablet: technology cost, retail price, and product spec. First, in terms of technology cost, the Mini LED backlight used in the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs about US$85 more than the traditional edge-lit LED backlight used in the previous generation. 

Second, in terms of retail price, the entry-level 128GB model of the 12.9-inch Mini LED iPad Pro retails for $1,099, which is only $100 higher than the equivalent model of the previous generation. As such, the price hike in the latest model is, for the most part, a result of the increased cost of mini-LED backlights, rather than wholly being an attempt at driving up profit margins. The modest price hike is therefore an indication of Apple’s desire to become the gold standard in the tablet market by adopting Mini LED backlight technology, Chen says.

Finally, in terms of product spec, the latest 12.9-inch mini-LED iPad Pro is equipped with Apple’s high-end Liquid Retina XDR technology, which gives the tablet a max full-screen brightness of 1,000 nits, peak brightness of 1,600 nits, and contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, with the peak brightness and contrast ratio both being firsts in the tablet industry. What’s more, Chen says it should be pointed out that the latest tablet is equipped with 10,384 mini-LED chips, divided into 2,596 dimming zones, giving it additional high contrast and high color saturation performance that is superior to the 31.5-inch iMac, which features 512 backlight dimming zones and is the first product to feature Apple’s XDR display technology.

With regards to Apple’s plans for the second half of the year, TrendForce thinks the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook models will likewise feature mini-LED backlight technology, which will become the hardware benchmark for high-end tablets and notebook computers.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.