Apple AR/VR Headset Again Rumored to Feature Micro OLED Displays While Samsung Readies 'Hologram' AR Device Competitor
Apple's mixed-reality headset has again been rumored to feature advanced micro OLED displays, Korea's ET News reports.
Micro-OLED displays are built directly on to chip wafers rather than a glass substrate, which results in displays that are thinner, smaller, and more power efficient. They allow for pixel sizes in the range of four to 20 micrometers, compared to 40 to 300 micrometers with standard OLED panels. Micro OLED displays have a much faster microseconds response time, making it more suitable for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
A report from The Elec last year claimed that Apple's headset could feature high resolution micro OLED displays with up to 3,000 pixels-per-inch. The insightful Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that micro OLED displays will facilitate the headset's "see-through AR experience," as well as immersive VR.
ET News says that the micro OLED displays will be supplied by TSMC, the supplier behind all of the A-series and M-series chips used in Apple's devices. Nikkei previously claimed that Apple has partnered with TSMC to develop "ultra-advanced" micro OLED displays for "upcoming augmented reality devices" at a secret facility in Taiwan. On the other hand, other reports from Japan and display analyst Ross Young have been consistent in the claim that Apple will use micro OLED displays from Sony, rather than TSMC, so it is not entirely clear what is going on in Apple's supply chain.
Young said that Apple's headset will feature two Sony micro OLED displays and one AMOLED panel. The micro OLED displays will be the main displays for the headset, but it is not yet known exactly what the AMOLED display will be used for. Modern VR headsets do not use AMOLED technology because the pixel density is too low, so it is possible that Apple could use it for low-resolution peripheral vision or on the outside of the device.
Meanwhile, ET News claims that Samsung is planning to launch an AR device with "hologram" technology and a Exynos chip. This comes after reports of Samsung significantly falling behind in the rush to bring AR and VR devices to market, partially due to its "obsession" with foldable smartphones. Samsung is now said to be co-developing its AR device with Microsoft and DigiLens. The device has reportedly reached the prototyping stage and the company is rumored to be mulling potential launch dates.
While Apple's headset was widely believed to be scheduled to launch this year, a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman cast doubt on the chances of the device emerging in 2022 due to development problems, with 2023 now looking more likely.