Apple to use micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch 3: Report

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Apple is said to eventually use micro-LED displays for next year’s iPhone 9 as well.


Apple is widely expected to debut the OLED panel with the upcoming iPhone 8 due for a launch later this year. Multiple reports keep pouring out about Apple’s plan to launch the iPhone 8 with a bezel-less OLED display, and the Touch ID sensor embedded under it. Apple is now reported to be working on a new display technology, and is expected to mass produce starting from the end of 2017. Business Korea reports that this display technology is micro-LED, and it will be used on the Apple Watch 3. It is also expected that the micro-LED would eventually be used on the iPhone 9, which would be launched next year.

In comparison to OLED display, micro-LED displays offer 30 times more brightness, and also offer longer lifetime. This display is also thinner and lighter than OLED display measuring only 5 to 10 micrometers. The report further states that Apple has been developing micro-LED display since 2014 after it acquired micro-LED display developer, LuxVue. If this information turns out to be true, then Apple would be the first company to mass produce and commercialize micro-LED displays on devices. While the report does confirm that Apple will use OLED panels for the iPhone 8, it does mention that Apple could shift to micro-LED display for the iPhone 9.

In terms of business, the report highlights how Apple is gradually shifting to developing parts themselves and diversifying its suppliers as well. According to industry watchdogs, Apple’s decision to move to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch 3 would directly hit LG Display. OLED displays for the Apple Watch 3 are exclusively supplied by LG Display and this move would result a decrease in sales by almost $201.35 million. ALSO READ: Apple Watch 3 with LTE support to launch in the second half of 2017

The possibility for Apple using micro-LED displays on future iPhones would also affect Samsung Display as well. Samsung is reported to have signed a deal worth over $9 billion to supply OLED displays for the iPhone 8. LG Display is also expected to join the supplier lineup for the OLED displays on the iPhone 8. This would potentially result in a combined loss of $1.5 billion a year. ALSO READ: LG to compete with Samsung for supplying OLED displays for the Apple iPhone 8

It is too early to speculate whether Apple would eventually use micro-LED displays for the iPhone 9, since the report says that it would use OLED panels as well. Even so, it still looks bleak for Samsung and LG because Apple is said to supply its OLED panels for the iPhone 9 from Chinese company BOE. In essence, the South Korean giants could be facing some serious business loss in terms of its OLED panels. Samsung is already known to occupy 95 percent of the market share for OLED displays, with LG and other Korean suppliers garnering the remaining 5 percent. ALSO READ: Apple orders 70 million bendable OLED panels from Samsung for iPhone 8: Report

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