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On Wednesday, Patently Apple posted a report titled “Apple reportedly plans to start using its own custom microLED displays in Apple Watch and iPhone in the next few years.” bottom. Bloomberg reported that Apple aims to start by replacing the display on its top-end Apple Watch by the end of next year.
As expected, the news was met with deep skepticism in South Korea, currently home to Apple’s main display suppliers Samsung and LG Display. Yi Choong-hoon, his CEO and top analyst at Seoul-based display market tracker UBI Research, told The Korea Herald: It will be difficult to fully commercialize this technology in the short term. “
Yi Choong-hoon predicted little impact on current suppliers and said it would be difficult for Apple to abruptly end existing relationships.
Last week, Ming-Chi predicted that Chinese display maker BOE would become the leading supplier of LTPO displays by 2024, overtaking Samsung to become the largest iPhone display supplier.
There was no news about a microLED display for the Apple Watch, but an industry source told The Korea Herald: , Some production lines may be dedicated to microLED for Apple.
To further blur the lines, according to a new report released today by ETNews, Samsung Display will begin a microLED display development project for smartwatches in the second half of 2022. It reportedly introduces its microLED display.
Samsung Display is focusing on Micro LEDs as its next-generation product, targeting smartwatches as its first product.
A microLED display is a panel that uses ultra-small LEDs of micrometer (㎛) size as pixels. It has excellent brightness, contrast ratio, and color reproducibility, and visibility under sunlight is outstanding. Low energy consumption Micro LED displays are expected to become a “game changer” display technology for mobile devices such as smart watches and smartphones. Even though the use of LEDs as pixels increased manufacturing costs and made them very difficult to manufacture, Samsung Display seems to have found a solution above a certain level.
An industry insider familiar with the topic said, “Because there are too many challenges to overcome to commercialize microLED, Samsung Display has set a goal to start with highly marketable products such as smartwatches.” said. Since the size of the smartwatch display is around 2 inches, the smartwatch display seems more suitable to be manufactured with microLED, which is expected to have a high growth potential.
If Samsung Display succeeds in developing this year, It is expected to target the premium smartwatch market from companies such as Apple and Samsung Electronics. Apple is the number one company in the global smartwatch market. For more information, read the full ETNews report.
Clearly, microLED displays will enter the smartwatch market first, with both Apple and Samsung likely introducing them in the 2024-2025 timeline. The only question is whether Apple will do a deal with Samsung Display for the Apple Watch Ultra or choose another source. Wikipedia lists his BOE, Sony, etc. in a short list of Micro LED display suppliers.
It’s entirely possible that the Korean press will continue to tout Samsung’s move to microLED displays and suggest that Apple will use its own displays in the Apple Watch Ultra. Conversely, Bloomberg and Ming-Chi Kuo could provide more details and spread rumors ahead of 2024.
Photos of the Apple Watch Ultra 2024’s microLED display OEM are still a bit blurry, so stay tuned.