New MacBook Pros with mini LED unlikely to launch at WWDC

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A supplier report suggests Apple won't be able to begin mass production of MacBook Pros with mini LED until the end of 2021, bringing WWDC's hardware announcement rumors into some question.

A report from Digitimes Asia says Osram Opto Semiconductors will become a new supplier of mini LED for Apple. They would supply the display technology for Apple's next MacBook Pro models, but those wouldn't be available until the second half of 2021.

"Judging from the supply of mini LED backlighting applications, volume production of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is likely to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021," the sources told Digitimes Asia. "The 16-inch model will start in the first quarter of 2022."

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that Apple intends to move many products in its lineup to the mini LED backlight technology, but it seems supply constraints will delay this transition. Rumors indicate Apple will announce a MacBook Pro during its WWDC keynote, but this supply chain report throws a wrench into that rumor.

Apple could announce a redesigned "14-inch MacBook Pro" with a mini LED display, but the DigiTimes report says this computer wouldn't be ready to ship until the end of 2021. Apple is even less likely to announce the 16-inch MacBook Pro with mini LED if it isn't shipping until the start of 2022.

The hardware announcement rumors are spurred by the imminent release of Apple's next-generation M-series processor. Leakers like Jon Prosser believes Apple will reveal the upgraded chipset and announce pro hardware at the same time.

The unverified rumors haven't designated which MacBook Pro will be announced, so Apple may release a 16-inch MacBook Pro with no design changes and the so-called "M1X" inside. Such a move would mimic Apple's initial Apple Silicon rollout in the fall of 2020.

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