Apple was suffering setbacks in its production of the new Mini LED iPad Pro due to problems in surface mount technology (SMT) process, TheElec has learned.
This was due to the low production yield rate of Taiwan’s TSMT, one of the SMT suppliers for the newly unveiled devices, people familiar with the matter said. Apple is reacting to the situation by deploying another SMT company besides TSMT, they said.
Cupertino unveiled the new 12.9-inch screen tablet this week and had said sales will begin mid-May.
Bloomberg reported a week prior to the unveiling that the sales of the device could be delayed from shortage of initial stock due to low yield rate.
At least one of the “Mini LED makers __ Epistar, GIS and TSMT __ has halted production, the report had said.
Mini LEDs are transferred on the surface of the circuit board during the SMT process. It is used as backlighting for the liquid crystal display (LCD).
Epistar manufactures the Mini LED wafers and chips. GIS handles the LCD module.
According to market research firm TrendForce, TSMT and Yenrich handles the SMT process for the Mini LED iPad Pro. Yenrich have gotten support in Mini LED technology from its parent company Epistar.
Multiple South Korean companies are taking part in the production of the backlighting unit of the new tablet. LG Display and Sharp are supplying the LCD panel. Youngpoong Electronics is supplying the flexible printed circuit board, while Heesung Electronics supplied the LCD module. However, their portion of contribution is dwarfed by their Taiwanese counterparts, who are supplying the majority of the components need for the new iPad Pro.
Despite the production setbacks, the new iPad Pro is expected to sell well. TrendForce expects the tablet to ship 5 million units and account for 3.1% of worldwide tablet market.
Apple unveiled an 11-inch LCD model along with the 12.9-inch Mini LED model. The Mini LED tablet uses 10,384 mini LED chips. It has 2,596 local dimming zones. It has a maximum luminance of 1,600nits and has a contrast ratio of one million to one.