Apple announced on Monday a new addition to its MacBook Pro family, a $2,199 unit featuring a 15.4” screen with 2880 by 1800 resolution. Through our panel supply chain research, we have been tracking these panels since the Q1 edition of our large area report and recently noted Apple was the most likely PC brand to be requesting them.
Following Apple’s announcement we have checked back into the ODM supply chain, and found that yield issues pushed the start of mass production into late May. Unit production is expected to be less than 2 million in calendar year 2012. Similar to the case of the new iPad, the new model would double the pixel density, which will require more power consumption in the backlight; the new MacBook Pro’s battery pack is nearly 23 percent larger than that used in the previous generation.
Our Q1 report also indicated that a 13.3” 2560 by 1600 resolution panel was being prepared for production in the third quarter. ODM supply chain sources indicate that Apple will use this panel in a MacBook Pro unit to be launched in the fourth quarter. Production volume is expected to be roughly twice that of the 15.4” MacBook Pro. Like the 15.4” upgrade, this would be a doubling of the existing pixel density 13.3” MacBook Pro format of 1280 x 800.
Apple is leading the charge toward higher resolution panel adoption. They started it with the iPhone 4, extended it with the new iPad, and now are paving the way in the notebook market with their latest and upcoming MacBook Pro models.