A new report posted by DigiTimes today has taken a look into the micro-LED ambitions of multiple companies, including the timeline by which Apple might begin its trial production of micro-LED displays. Although it's yet to be confirmed, Apple is likely to use such display technology on a version of the Apple Watch launched in 2018 or later.

The report, citing industry sources, states that Apple's current aim is to manufacture a "small volume" of products with micro-LED displays towards the end of this year. Reports over the past few weeks have referenced similar timelines for Apple's micro-LED plans, and today's news also corroborates the location of Apple's trial production run, expected to be housed in a plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

apple watch 3 splash

A few makers engaged in R&D for micro LED display products, despite many technological bottlenecks, are expected to take the initiative to begin trial production in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, according to industry sources.

Apple has been keen in the development of micro LED technology following its acquisition of LuxVue in 2014, and recent market speculations also indicate that Apple is likely to crank out a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year.

Rumors of an Apple Watch with a micro-LED display began last summer, when it was suggested that such a device may launch in 2017, but with the current reports of late-in-the-year trial productions on micro-LED displays it's likely that the 2017 "Apple Watch Series 3" will continue to use OLED technology. In regards to advantages, devices with micro-LED have the chance to be thinner, lighter, see an improved color gamut with increased brightness, and sport higher resolutions.

Apple's production on micro-LED is said to be the final realization of its acquisition of low-power microLED-based display maker LuxVue in 2014. Similarly, Samsung has been rumored to acquire micro-LED company PlayNitride, which is expected to begin a trial production on the displays sometime in the second half of 2017. Foxconn has also announced plans to acquire display startup eLux, "for development of next-generation micro-LED display technology."

Although no direct connection with Apple has been made by the manufacturers, their previous history as suppliers for the Cupertino company points toward either company, or both, as additional micro-LED suppliers for a future generation Apple Watch. According to industry sources speaking on Foxconn's eLux purchase, "The acquisition could provide a fast track for Foxconn to commercialize micro-LED technology," bringing it to a wider range of consumer products.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Appleaker Avatar
57 months ago
I can't wait to see this in all Apple products in the future, although it'll be a very long wait.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jiggad369 Avatar
57 months ago
OLED is a big Apple gotcha to Samsung. They are going to get them to build plants and spend billions of dollars to be able to supply OLED screens for iPhones, but Apple's never had any intentions of using OLED! They'll go right to Micro LED!
Yeah it seems is if Apple wants to jump and skip right over this OLED craze.

I can wait couple more years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keane16 Avatar
57 months ago
mLED is really exciting tech. Hope it's commercialised in the next few years.

"Along with OLEDs ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLED'), mLEDs are primarily aimed at small, low-energy devices such as smartwatches ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartwatch') and smartphones ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone'). OLED and mLED both offer greatly reduced energy requirements compared to conventional LCD systems. Unlike OLED, mLED is based on conventional GaN ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GaN') LED technology, which offers far higher total brightness than OLED products, as much as 30 times, as well as higher efficiency in terms of lux/W. It also does not suffer from the shorter lifetimes of OLED, although the multi-year lifespan of modern OLEDs has mitigated this issue in most roles."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroLED
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
57 months ago
A
Essentially, Micro-Led allows for a much brighter display, wider color gamut and eliminates Back lighting. Also, with less power draw from the display being more efficient, it helps increase the battery longevity.

I can't speak if I will ever make its way to a laptop, but it's been rumored that Apple will use micro LED with the Apple Watch in the future. Samsung is also been reportedly testing micro LED is well. Suspect it will start with smart watches and/or smart phones, for makes its way into larger scale products.
Are its blacks as good as oled?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
56 months ago
Essentially, Micro-Led allows for a much brighter display, wider color gamut and eliminates Back lighting. Also, with less power draw from the display being more efficient, it helps increase the battery longevity.
That is describing the advantages of xLED in general over LCD, not mLED over OLED.

What are the benefits of this new technology? Will it make its way into laptops?
Being LED, microLED has the same display advantages as OLED over LCD.

The primary difference between mLED and OLED is that the former uses inorganic LEDs, which can be brighter than organic, but are also much larger at this point except in labs.

As for using it in laptops, well maybe in another ten years.

Are its blacks as good as oled?
They're both LED tech, so they both can be turned completely off.


* I think people are misled by the term "micro" in front. It'd be more accurate and less confusing to laymen, to instead simply say ILED vs OLED (inorganic vs organic).

(It's similar to the way that many people get confused and excited over the trademark "Liquid Metal")
Sony have already released a microLED product for commercial use only, but they call it CLEDIS. It is an 8Kx2K 32'x9' display. Yes, those measurements are in feet! I think that counts as larger scale.
It's also less than 20 PPI. Even Sony's first attempt at a mLED consumer TV was only 40 PPI. The Apple Watch OLED display is 290 PPI. Not even in the same ballpark.

Ironically, that's the problem with "micro" LED right now; its pixels are larger and more difficult to manufacture, at low yield and high expense. So they tend to make smaller display modules of them and then stitch many modules into a larger display, as was done for that Sony wall display.

Eventually mLED could be mass produced in a decent resolution, but at this point... barring a breakthrough... that seems still to be years away. In the meantime, OLED is here, mature, high resolution, not expensive, and constantly improving.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
57 months ago
What are the benefits of this new technology? Will it make its way into laptops?
Essentially, Micro-Led allows for a much brighter display, wider color gamut and eliminates Back lighting. Also, with less power draw from the display being more efficient, it helps increase the battery longevity.

I can't speak if I will ever make its way to a laptop, but it's been rumored that Apple will use micro LED with the Apple Watch in the future. Samsung is also been reportedly testing micro LED is well. Suspect it will start with smart watches and/or smart phones, for makes its way into larger scale products.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...