Redesigned ‘AirPods 3’ and mini LED iPad expected in first half of 2021

A new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sets out his expectations that an “AirPods 3,” featuring a more AirPods Pro-like design, will debut in the first half 2021 — and that so will an iPad with mini LED screen.

Kuo’s report, as always, directed to investors looking at supply companies. His newest note comes as an examination of the Shenzen-based technology firm Jialianyi, which he says is going to grow its business by 100% year over year, because of its new Apple orders.

“We predict that Jialianyi will return to Apple’s full product line supply chain in 2021 and will be a key supplier of the new 2H21 iPhone (iPhone 13 series), the new 1H21 AirPods (AirPods 3) and the 1H21 mini LED iPad,” he writes (in translation.)

“[Jialianyi] is a new entrant to the AirPods series,” he continues. “We predict that the most significant change of AirPods 3 is that the design is similar to AirPods Pro. We expect that Jialianyi will obtain AirPods 3 headset soft board and charging box soft board orders. This order is expected to significantly contribute to revenue and profit from 2Q20.”

Apple has been using soft boards since the iPhone 8, and it’s been predicted to use them more. Most recently, Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the technology would be in a 2020 iPad Pro.

Also known as an LCP Soft Board, after the Liquid Crystal Polymer it’s based on, these allow a flexible alternative to regular printed circuit boards. It’s also a material that benefits high-speed, low-latency data transfer.

“Jialianyi expects to regain orders for the iPad’s acoustic and optical components soft board, becoming a key supplier of mini LED iPad soft board,” continues Kuo. “We expect that mini LED iPad will be mass-produced in the middle of 1H21 and Jialianyi will regain orders for iPad acoustic and optical components soft board.”

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