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5G iPad Pro with mini LED display might be coming in late 2020

Published Mar 20th, 2020 5:03PM EDT
iPad Pro 2020
Image: Apple

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  • iPad Pro with 5G, mini-LED backlighting, or both, rumored to be launching in late 2020.
  • Supply chain sources tell DigiTimes that mini-LED is going to get a big boost from Apple, as the company wants to use the technology on medium-size devices like the iPad Pro.
  • Meanwhile, Jon Prosser says a 5G iPad Pro with a new A14X chip is due out this fall.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Apple might have had to cancel its rumored spring media event due to the pandemic currently sweeping the planet, but that didn’t stop the company from unveiling a few new products this week. On Wednesday morning, Apple quietly dropped two press releases on its website — one revealing an all-new iPad Pro with a LiDAR Scanner, and the other announcing a MacBook Air with a cheaper price point and an upgraded keyboard.

As intriguing as the new iPad Pro is, it might also be a stopgap as Apple prepares to launch a revolutionary new tablet this fall. We have heard countless rumors about Apple’s plans for the iPad line, but the reports are beginning to paint a clearer picture of what the late 2020 iPad will have to offer, including 5G and mini-LED technology.

Let’s start with a new DigiTimes report, which says that LED firms are currently expanding wafer, chip and, packaging capacity due to their optimism about mini-LED technology, and Apple’s reported interest in it:

Apple reportedly prefers mini LED to OLED for its medium-size devices and will launch an iPad Pro with mini LED backlighting in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Industry sources also tell DigiTimes that “mini-LED is expected to get a significant boost in applications as Apple is proceeding with R&D of devices adopting mini LED backlighting, and may commercialize more such devices in the next five years.” This could be the next major leap for the iPad line.

Around the same time as the DigiTimes report was published, analyst Jon Prosser (who accurately predicted the reveal of the new Apple devices earlier this week and then claimed that the iPhone 9 and 9 Plus have entered mass production) said on Twitter that a 5G iPad Pro will come out “towards the end of this year (barring any further delays).” In his tweet, he says that the only difference between the late 2020 iPad Pro and the one that just launched is the A14X chip that will be featured in the newer model. Everything else will apparently stay the same:

When someone asked about Apple’s penchant for refreshing the iPad line every 18 months, Prosser explained that the new iPad Pro was the “full refresh,” and that another won’t happen until next year. The A14X processor is the only notable change, and only because it was necessary for handling 5G. Prosser did not mention mini-LED technology at all, so it’s unclear if his sources are saying something different than the sources that spoke to DigiTimes.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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