Apple wants to reduce its reliance on sourcing displays for its products from Samsung and LG. So, the company is working on its own custom displays that it intends to use as early as 2024.
This would mark another move from Apple to develop more components it uses on its devices in-house.
Apple wants to go all in on microLED panels…eventually
A Bloomberg report claims Apple plans to swap out OLED displays on high-end Apple Watch models with its in-house microLED display from next year. The company eventually plans to use its microLED panels on the iPhone and other devices. It has seemingly also customized the microLED displays on its upcoming AR/VR headset.
Current Apple Watch models use an OLED display sourced from Samsung or LG Display. Citing sources, the report says Apple’s microLED panels offer higher brightness levels, better viewing angles, and vibrant colors. The improvements make the UI content feel like it is painted on top of the glass.
While Apple will develop the technology behind microLED, it won’t manufacture the panels themselves. It will likely outsource production to one of its suppliers.
This report reaffirms display analyst Ross Young’s recent claim that the Apple Watch Ultra could ship with a microLED display by 2025.
Apple has been working on its in-house display technology for years
Apple ramped up efforts on its in-house display technology in 2018. The project, led by Wei Chen, was initially supposed to bear fruits by early 2020. However, high costs and technical challenges pushed the deadline and forced the company to reconsider its approach. So, instead of iPhone or Mac, Apple now plans to use the display tech on the Apple Watch first.
There’s still a possibility that the 2024 deadline will slip to 2025 due to supply issues.
Apple currently relies on Samsung Display and LG for the display panels of its devices. Samsung is the leader in display technology and dominates the OLED panel shipment. It would be interesting to see how the Korean giant reacts to Apple’s switch to its in-house display tech in the coming years.