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 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

ghost187 Avatar
61 months ago
Tim Cook signing off on more expensive components? Please, don't make me laugh.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fynd Avatar
61 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
61 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
61 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
61 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
61 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)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...