Apple Watch May Switch to Micro-LED Display in Mid 2017 or Later

Apple-Watch-trioApple may switch to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, moving away from the current OLED technology used, according to supply chain sources for Taiwanese website DigiTimes.

The timeline suggests that the much-rumored Apple Watch 2 lineup expected to debut in the second half of 2016 will continue to have OLED displays, with the move towards micro-LED panels liking occurring in tandem with the tentatively named Apple Watch 3.

Micro-LED displays can be thinner and lighter and allow for improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the Apple Watch 2 will mainly feature internal improvements, with more significant form factor design changes not occurring until 2017. By then, the switch to micro-LED panels and other technological advances could allow for a thinner Apple Watch.

Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technology in 2014, and one of the company's investors at the time said it had "a technical breakthrough in displays." LuxVue holds multiple micro-LED-related patents and, in 2013, it raised $25.2 million in funding to pursue the technology.

Apple also opened a facility in northern Taiwan last year, where it is believed to be focusing on micro-LED technology.

The current Apple Watch is the only Apple product with an OLED display due to its small size. The company continues to use LCD technology based on a TFT manufacturing process for iPhones, but widespread rumors suggest Apple will release its first OLED-based iPhone as early as September 2017.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

ghost187 Avatar
73 months ago
Tim Cook signing off on more expensive components? Please, don't make me laugh.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fynd Avatar
73 months ago
The Apple displays seem to be of high quality to me. However, I have seen several other mobile devices with colors that pops. My understanding is that OLED had the better color gamut and that is why most other mobile devices use them. Maybe Apple has been waiting to move to the micro-LED, i don't know, but it would be nice to see some of that pop in an iphone.
If Apple didn't care about colour accuracy and instead set the default iOS display profile to be the equivalent to DYNAMIC then things would pop as well. If you take something like the S7 and set it's display profile to the more accurate setting, it's very close to the 6S. There's something to be said for accuracy of pop, although I know a fair number of people that would rather insane + inaccurate colors :p
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
naeS1Sean Avatar
73 months ago
Nah. They'll probably go back to the screens that were on the gray Nokia phones with the snake game on them. Please someone know what I mean.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
73 months ago
Please Apple make different versions and not just thinner ones but also more heavy and thicker for the guys who like a watch that casts a shadow !
Yes, Apple need to make a Sport watch that is a Sport watch, and a Chronograph style watch that is that, and a dress watch that resembles that. Just making the same watch in different materials with different bands and calling them unique names isn't enough. There needs to be functional difference and look to each line, not this cookie cutter crap.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
73 months ago
Funny how everyone talks about Apple's need to switch to OLED, while Apple has what might be a better alternative. Certainly micro-led will be a differentiator until Samsung reads this and decides to start work on copying Apple.
Could not agree more. Seems a lot of people still spout the reflexive OLED is best mantra.

Yet the recently released 9.7" iPad Pro has a new display which DisplayMate tested and said:
"The display on the iPad Pro 9.7 is a Truly Impressive Top Performing Display and a major upgrade to the display on the iPad Air 2. It is by far the best performing mobile LCD display that we have ever tested, and it breaks many display performance records."

Apple knows what they are doing with respect to display tech.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
73 months ago
Tim Cook signing off on more expensive components? Please, don't make me laugh.
I think you'll find that Apple pays more for its parts than their competition. That will require you to research, I know.
[doublepost=1466780651][/doublepost]
The Apple displays seem to be of high quality to me. However, I have seen several other mobile devices with colors that pops. My understanding is that OLED had the better color gamut and that is why most other mobile devices use them. Maybe Apple has been waiting to move to the micro-LED, i don't know, but it would be nice to see some of that pop in an iphone.
OLED does not have a better color gamut. Apple's displays have nearly always been the most accurate, no matter what the technology. Colors popping is not a result of accuracy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
microsoft office icons

Microsoft Releases Office for Mac Update With Full Apple Silicon Support in Excel

Tuesday January 18, 2022 4:15 am PST by
Microsoft has released a new version of its Office for Mac productivity suite that includes an updated Excel app with 100% native support for Apple silicon machines. According to the release notes accompanying version 16.57, Excel will now run natively on Macs powered by Apple's M1-series processors without having to use the Rosetta 2 translation layer, which means anyone using a Mac with an ...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Rumored iPhone 14 Pro Feature Delayed Until Next Year

Wednesday January 19, 2022 3:00 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored under-display Face ID technology will not be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, according to recent reports. Based on the latest rumors, it now looks unlikely that the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature Face ID technology under the display as several reports claimed over the past year. Display industry consultant Ross Young, who often reveals ...