Apple Recently Visited With Taiwanese Makers of Thinner and Brighter MicroLED and MiniLED Displays

Apple representatives attended the Touch Taiwan display industry convention in Taipei this week, holding private meetings with Taiwanese display makers AU Optronics and Epistar, according to the Economic Daily News.


The report claims Apple held the meetings to learn more about each company's development of next-generation display technologies MicroLED and MiniLED, suitable for future generations of iPhones and Apple Watches. As those names suggest, both technologies utilize arrays of very tiny LEDs.

In May, AU Optronics received a Best in Show award at the Display Week 2018 convention in Los Angeles for its multiple advanced display technologies, including the "world's highest resolution and full color TFT driven 8-inch micro LED display technology," according to the company's press release.

Apple is said to be most interested in MicroLED, as MiniLED is described as more of a transitionary technology that it may skip.

Apple has been exploring MicroLED displays since at least 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. In 2015, Apple reportedly opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the technology, but has since shifted the efforts to Santa Clara, California, near its headquarters.

In addition to AU Optronics and Epistar, Apple has reportedly collaborated with its contract manufacturer TSMC to develop methods of mass producing MicroLED panels. Apple also reportedly held talks with another Taiwanese company PlayNitrite, which has developed its own MicroLED solution PixeLED.

MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks given both have self-lit pixels, but they are even thinner, much brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels.

Image Credit: TrendForce

MiniLED displays also have benefits such as improved brightness and contrast ratio, but they have a backlight like LCDs.

As with OLED, Apple's use of MicroLED would likely start small, with the Apple Watch, followed by the iPhone. A recent report said Apple may use MicroLED for its widely rumored augmented reality glasses as well.

All in all, the transition to MicroLED should lead to even better displays and longer battery life on future Apple devices.

Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago

Hahahaha. Are you new here? Apple never increases battery size. They always use any extra space to make the phone thinner. You know, because they are so dang thick now anything will help.

the phone hasn't got thinner since the 6, so wth are you even talking about; drinking meme's for breakfast?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

They will have more room for components and battery. Not necessarily meaning a thinner phone.

Jony Ive says hi!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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23 months ago

MicroLED sounds great but I don't think we need brighter screens at this point.

I’ll take this to mean you have never used your phone outside.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

Hahahaha. Are you new here? Apple never increases battery size. They always use any extra space to make the phone thinner. You know, because they are so dang thick now anything will help.

You do know that since the iPhone 6, they have actually gotten slightly thicker, right?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
With microLED you get lower cost per unit and you’ll see upgrade to 2560x1440 resolution at a much lower power consumption than on current X display means better battery life too.

Win for Apple, win for consumer, with lower costing phones that don’t have to be $1000 for an OLED screen.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

I didn’t intend to bend my iPhone 5.

What does this even mean?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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