First mini-LED iPad could arrive earlier than expected

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Apple is planning to launch an iPad with a mini-LED display and AirPods 3 in the first half of the next year, reports MacRumors citing TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The report mainly centers on supplier Career Technology who is going to ship LCP (liquid crystal polymer) soft boards to Apple. This tech offers a flexible way to connect components and also helps with high-speed, low-latency data transfer. The Chinese manufacturer is apparently going to ship acoustic and optical components for soft boards meant for a mini-LED iPad.

The said iPad model will reportedly be mass-produced in the first half of 2021.
Kuo had earlier said that six mini-LED Apple products are in the works including a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, a 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, a 10.2.-inch ‌‌iPad‌‌, and a 7.9-inch ‌‌‌iPad‌‌‌ mini. He had also claimed that the 12.9-inch ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ would be launched in Q4 2021 and it would be Apple’s first mini-LED product. 

Mini-LED offers contrast ratios and image quality that match OLED. The tech is comparatively affordable and is less prone to burn-in.

AirPods 3 will also enter mass production around the same time

Career will likely supply components for the ‌AirPods‌ 3 too. They will supposedly also enter mass production in the first half of 2021.

The buds are expected to have a design similar to the AirPods Pro which implies they will have a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips. The rigid-flex PCB+SMT design will probably be replaced with the System-in-Package used for the ‌AirPods Pro‌. 

The ‌new AirPods‌  will seemingly be more affordable and they will skimp on high-end features like Active Noise Cancellation. Apple is also said to be working on a new wireless chip and the upcoming earbuds may also offer longer battery life.
Kuo also expects Apple to use the soft board technology in the iPhone 13 to save space and reduce manufacturing cost.

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