Two MacBook Pro models getting mini LED in 2021, MacBook Air in 2022 says Kuo

Posted:
in macOS edited December 2020
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that as part of Apple's mini LED push, the company will release a pair of new MacBook Pro models in 2021 with the technology -- and a "more affordable" MacBook Air in 2022.




In a note to investors, seen by AppleInsider, Ming-Chi Kuo is refining his predictions for Apple's use of mini LED technology in the Mac. Specifically, he predicts that the long-rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro with a redesigned chassis will arrive in 2021 alongside another model. Perhaps more notably, Kuo is also expecting a new and "more affordable" MacBook Air in 2022 -- but he didn't comment on the possibility of an enclosure redesign of that model.

Mini LED is, as the name suggests, a very small LED component. While current LEDs are used for backlighting systems, they typically rely on a small number of LEDs lighting up a larger area. Mini LED changes that by allowing more of them to be installed throughout the backlight layer.

The result is a backlight that is extremely evenly lit and could offer higher levels of contrast by dimming darker areas of the screen. This could allow for extremely high contrast displays to be created while still relying on the relatively mature and cost-effective LCD technology rather than switching to the expensive OLED.

Kuo believes that while mini LED panels are more expensive, it won't increase the cost of products that implement the technology. The analyst says that "the use of Apple Silicon can offset the increased cost of using mini LED panels."

Apple generally sticks with a form-factor for between four and four and a half years. The existing MacBook Pro form factor shipped in late 2016 and is still in use with the existing 13-inch Apple Silicon MacBook Pro. The previous chassis debuted with the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro and remained in service until the arrival of the 2016 refresh.

In September 2019, Kuo proposed Apple would produce high-end models of the iPad Pro, and MacBook Pro that uses Mini LED screens produced by LG Display. At the time, Kuo speculated the models would launch in late 2020 or early 2021.

A follow-up note to investors in March 2020 reiterated the potential use of Mini LED sometime in 2020 and said that three iPad models using the technology were coming, along with a refreshed 27-inch iMac Pro, an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a 14.1-inch Mini LED MacBook Pro replacing the 13-inch model.

Wednesday's report is Kuo's first suggesting a new, lower-cost MacBook Air is coming in 2022.

Additionally, in Wednesday's note, Kuo believes that MacBook Air and MacBook Pro shipments will "grow significantly" and double within three years to around 30 million units per year. Factors leading to the increase include Apple Silicon and the long-rumored redesign of the model.

Kuo also predicts Apple to launch two to three new chargers in 2021, potentially expanding fast-charging tech for its mobile device lineup.
piamanarang
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,236member
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!
    edited December 2020 edredcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 22
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!
    I see where you are coming from but you fail to acknowledge that those R&D and some of those production costs are also distributed on the iPhone & iPads.

    Overall, its definitely cheaper, look at the Mac Mini price if you aren't sure. Since when does Apple lower prices while hurting their margins? The removal of the power brick (of which they NEVER included anything beyond 5W to boost margins) from iPhones comes to mind. That was purely a margin boost.
    edited December 2020 commentzillaseanj
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Hello

    Will there be a significant price increase to the MacBook Pro 14” with Apple Silicon, or there won’t be any price escalation when compared with the MacBook Pro 13” with M1 chip. 

    This is creating a lot of confusion, whether I should buy M1 or wait for another year to fall in

    Any suggestion will be of very valuable advice to me in my decision to go for it or wait ... for 2 years I have been waiting with the speculation of Apple Silicon, but when it finally came I am so confused n in dilemma. 


    Regards - JMohan
  • Reply 4 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,236member
    JMohan said:
    Hello

    Will there be a significant price increase to the MacBook Pro 14” with Apple Silicon, or there won’t be any price escalation when compared with the MacBook Pro 13” with M1 chip. 

    This is creating a lot of confusion, whether I should buy M1 or wait for another year to fall in

    Any suggestion will be of very valuable advice to me in my decision to go for it or wait ... for 2 years I have been waiting with the speculation of Apple Silicon, but when it finally came I am so confused n in dilemma. 


    Regards - JMohan
    Well, you’re asking a question that no one (except Apple) knows the answer to. We don’t even know for sure if there will be a 14” device since this is just a rumor. 

    The best information would be from history - Apple typically increases the specs while keeping the price the same and the M1 Air was introduced at the same price as the previous model. I can’t remember how Apple priced the 16” MBP relative to the 15”, but that would probably be a good indicator. 


    cornchipseanj
  • Reply 5 of 22
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,070member
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!
    Apple only needs to shoulder the chips’ designs, something they already do for iOS devices, the modular way Apple designs its SoCs means the incremental R&D for the Mac chip is rather small. Per unit costs should be significantly lower than intel chips, so I expect either increased profit margins, aggressive pricing, or the addition of expensive high-end technologies the competition can’t match at a reasonable price point, or a combination of these things at various levels of the line up. e.g. aggressive pricing at the entry level, increased margins at the mid-range, killer-tech at the high-end.

    The really expensive aspects of making chips, i.e. processes development, manufacturing, etc. are carried by TSMC, not Apple, and distributed across their full range of customers, incl. AMD and others.

    It will be interesting to see if Apple, when the inevitable physical boundaries of shrinking structures are reached, will opt to establish its own chip plants to have full control, or if the technology will become sufficiently commoditized that Apple will farm out chip manufacturing to a variety highly competitive companies to further squeeze costs, as they do now with assembly.
    cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 22
    I got all excited when I read this then realized this is just an improvement in backlighting technology. Don’t get me wrong, increasing the granularity of local backlighting will do wonders for contrast ratios but I am looking forward to a display that will use true RGB LED’s replacing OLED. Probably years away still. 
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 7 of 22
    GG1GG1 Posts: 451member
    macbootx said:
    I got all excited when I read this then realized this is just an improvement in backlighting technology. Don’t get me wrong, increasing the granularity of local backlighting will do wonders for contrast ratios but I am looking forward to a display that will use true RGB LED’s replacing OLED. Probably years away still. 
    You're talking about micro LEDs. I'm guessing the first Apple product to use it would either be the Watch or Pro Display XDR v2.

    macbootx
  • Reply 8 of 22
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member
    seankill said:
    Overall, its definitely cheaper, look at the Mac Mini price if you aren't sure. Since when does Apple lower prices while hurting their margins?
    You forget that the Mac Mini originally sold for $499 so at the current price Apple is still creaming it.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    JMohan said:
    Hello

    Will there be a significant price increase to the MacBook Pro 14” with Apple Silicon, or there won’t be any price escalation when compared with the MacBook Pro 13” with M1 chip. 

    This is creating a lot of confusion, whether I should buy M1 or wait for another year to fall in

    Any suggestion will be of very valuable advice to me in my decision to go for it or wait ... for 2 years I have been waiting with the speculation of Apple Silicon, but when it finally came I am so confused n in dilemma. 


    Regards - JMohan

    I guess the best thing I can say is that Macs hold their value, so if you buy something now and something better comes along, then you can always resell it. However, if your current Mac still works fine, and you don't need a new one, then waiting a little longer to see how this plays out might be the best option. This is only the first step in the transition, so it is still unclear what path has Apple decided to take with these new Macs in hardware design changes, release schedules, SoC variations in performance, etc.
    edited December 2020 canukstorm
  • Reply 10 of 22
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,539member
    MiniLED 14.1" Macbook Pro(& Air) timeline seems logical. And what the hell is point out or wrong with the current MBA,MBP enclosures ? They are timeless design, no need to screw it up in the name of change. Telling you, M1 based MACs will make more inroads into people's choice of laptops and you will see effortless conversion from Windows to MACs. Unintentionally Apple has put the fire under x86 and ARM chip companies and Microsoft.
    edited December 2020 seanj
  • Reply 11 of 22
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!

    mini LED has been around (it's mostly used for LCD backlighting), Apple even uses it in their XDR displays. Maybe you're thinking of micro LED a technology that's supposed to replace LCD?

    The economics of the M-series is intertwined with the A-series. They both share a lot of the same IP blocks. Most additional cost will come from developing new IP blocks unique to the Mac. There isn't much cost in fabricating a new chip design, if it's using an existing production line.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 969member
    I orders the new Air on Nov. 12 but still haven’t received shipment info from Apple (it’s a Christmas gift). Has anybody actually received these yet?
  • Reply 13 of 22
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?
    Mini LED laptops are already shipping for some vendors.  Granted, probably not in the quantities Apple needs.

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/8/21056429/msis-creator-17-laptop-mini-led-1000-nits-hdr-4k
  • Reply 14 of 22
    "Wednesday's report is Kuo's first suggesting a new, lower-cost MacBook Air is coming in 2022."

    I called that move a long time ago. Once Apple moves to the M2 chip the M1 will become the lower tier, similar to what is done with the iPhone A13 and A14. T
    he only other option would be to make a 12" model. I'm guessing $899 or possibly $849. 
    seanj
  • Reply 15 of 22

    seankill said:
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!
    I see where you are coming from but you fail to acknowledge that those R&D and some of those production costs are also distributed on the iPhone & iPads.

    Overall, its definitely cheaper, look at the Mac Mini price if you aren't sure. Since when does Apple lower prices while hurting their margins? The removal of the power brick (of which they NEVER included anything beyond 5W to boost margins) from iPhones comes to mind. That was purely a margin boost.
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!
    I'm willing to bet there's a significant cost savings over INTEL. The much of the R&D and production costs for the M1 come from their investment in Apple Silicon for the iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, Apple Watch and Home Pod. Unlike INTEL they don't have to layer a hefty profit margin on top per/chip since they are only designing for themselves. They also reduced costs by eliminating the need for 3rd party graphics and by moving many of the motherboard components directly into the SOC.

    The 16" MBP will have neither the INTEL or AMD tax. We see this same strategy with the iPhone that is rumored to ditch Qualcomm's 5G chip in favor of their own, which will be smaller, cheaper and more power efficient. Don't be surprised to see it inside of the SOC.

    The goal from the beginning was to eliminated 3rd party silicon and components, with the exception of common commodity parts like RAM, SSD, and screens, etc. This will result in a more nimble product line with a faster upgrade cycle at a lower cost.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    "Wednesday's report is Kuo's first suggesting a new, lower-cost MacBook Air is coming in 2022."

    I called that move a long time ago. Once Apple moves to the M2 chip the M1 will become the lower tier, similar to what is done with the iPhone A13 and A14. The only other option would be to make a 12" model. I'm guessing $899 or possibly $849. 
    I would say similar to what Apple's done with the iPad lineup (iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro).  In 2022, we could definitely see MB ($799), MBA ($999), MBP ($1,299 / $1,799 / $2,399)
  • Reply 17 of 22

    wood1208 said:
    MiniLED 14.1" Macbook Pro(& Air) timeline seems logical. And what the hell is point out or wrong with the current MBA,MBP enclosures ? They are timeless design, no need to screw it up in the name of change. Telling you, M1 based MACs will make more inroads into people's choice of laptops and you will see effortless conversion from Windows to MACs. Unintentionally Apple has put the fire under x86 and ARM chip companies and Microsoft.
    I agree. The design it's a timeless minimal design. Not much could be improved beyond the obvious like a thinner bezel or maybe carbon fiber case or break proof glass (transparent aluminum).
  • Reply 18 of 22
    seanjseanj Posts: 254member
    or break proof glass (transparent aluminum).
    I believe that would require the assistance of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott if my movie recollection is correct  :D
  • Reply 19 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    MplsP said:
    We keep hearing about mini led - when are we actually going to see it?

    I wonder how the economics of Apple Silicon work - nominally, the chips could be cheaper than intel chips, but apple also has to foot the entire bill for R&D as well as the costs of ramping up production. Those costs exist with intel, too, but they’re distributed over intel’s entire customer base.

    Since they control the entire design, Apple may also be able to optimize integration with other components leading to easier and cheaper system board design/production. 

    I’m excited about the future of Apple Si. There’s a few hiccups, but the reviews are quite positive and impressive. I’ll be getting a new laptop in the next year or two and looking forward to an M1 MacBook Pro!

    I'm not convinced that Mini LED will be a huge draw for the majority of users.   I just got an M1 based MBA and I'm surprised by how good the screen is and the fluidity of operation.

    As far as Apple Silicon the vast majority of the R&D is mandatory to support the handhelds.   So it is actually smart to spread that R&D across even more products.    As for Intel it is pretty apparent that they haven't been able to leverage the money they are making to really do good chips, so as a supplier they are going down the tubes.   I see Intels future as very short if they can't pull head from behind and start engineering again.

    As for Apple Silicon your are right to be excited.   Hopefully by the time you buy a laptop we will be three generations in.   Right now we only have introductory machines, just imagine a MBP with a Apple Silicon chip pulling 35 watts.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    JMohan said:
    Hello

    Will there be a significant price increase to the MacBook Pro 14” with Apple Silicon, or there won’t be any price escalation when compared with the MacBook Pro 13” with M1 chip. 

    This is creating a lot of confusion, whether I should buy M1 or wait for another year to fall in

    Any suggestion will be of very valuable advice to me in my decision to go for it or wait ... for 2 years I have been waiting with the speculation of Apple Silicon, but when it finally came I am so confused n in dilemma. 


    Regards - JMohan

    This is easy if you don't need a laptop right now ignore these machines!!!   As for new laptops I fully expect that Apple will deliver the follow on laptops very early in 2021.   That is you will not need to wait a year to have a wider range of machines to choose from.

    As for price that is something that you simply will not be able to project upon.   There are just too many factors to consider that haven't existed in the past.    We have Covid that is one issue and then we have China turning into a hideous reincarnation of Nazi Germany.   2021 could be any thing from the best recovery ever to the start (and probably the end) of WW3.   So there are bigger things to worry about next year.
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