Apple is reportedly set to release a new Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display in either 2024 or 2025. This news comes from a report by the Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes, which also suggests that Apple plans to extend the technology to iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks eventually.
Apple to expand microLED technology to iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks in coming years
The report highlights that Apple has been actively developing microLED technology since it acquired California-based company LuxVue in 2014. However, manufacturing costs for such displays remain higher, and the production process is more challenging than for other types of displays. As a result, Apple will start rolling out the technology with the Apple Watch Ultra before larger devices.
According to the report, European company ams OSRAM will be the primary supplier of microLED chips for Apple. But, there is potential for Taiwanese suppliers like Epistar to become additional suppliers of display chips by 2026-2027.
Several sources, including Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, and Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu, have also suggested the release of a new Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display.
Gurman believes that the transition away from OLED could begin by the end of 2024, while Young has given a 2025 timeframe. Pu has suggested that the new Apple Watch Ultra will feature a larger 2.1-inch display, and microLED technology will allow for increased brightness compared to existing Apple Watch models with OLED displays. The current Ultra has around a 1.9-inch display.
Meanwhile, Apple is still completing its lengthy transition from LCD to OLED display technology. The Apple Watch has used OLED since it launched in 2015, and iPhone models gradually switched to OLED starting in 2017. Rumors suggest the first iPad Pro and MacBook models with OLED displays will be released in 2024.
Overall, the move to microLED displays shows Apple’s continued commitment to pushing the boundaries of display technology. Although there may be challenges in manufacturing and costs, the potential benefits in terms of increased brightness and improved image quality could make microLED displays the future of Apple’s products.