Industry sources believe that Apple wants to implement high-tech micro-LED displays in its wearable devices. Writing for Nikkei Asian Review, Debby Wu and Cheng Ching-Fang claim that this could happen as soon as next year.
This has fuelled rumours concerning the possibility of Apple becoming less dependent on Samsung Electronics, the only firm that can manufacture curved smartphone displays utilising state-of-the-art light-emitting organic diode technology.
The report points out that the U.S. tech giant is currently 100% dependent on the South Korean group for curved OLED panels for its upmarket iPhone 8 devices scheduled to hit the market later this year. Apple is working extremely hard to advance micro-LED technology and, according to an executive with advanced expertise of the latest display technology, the firm might promote the use of this screen technology as early as 2018.
The same executive has reportedly claimed that it was not very likely for micro-LED technology to find its way to smartphones any time soon, since there are still many technical hurdles to overcome. Roger Chu, an analyst working for research establishment LED inside, states in the report that Apple’s decision to pursue next-generation display technology seems to form part of its efforts to reduce its dependence on Samsung Electronics as soon as possible.
Regarding the benefits of micro-LED technology, the report states: “Micro-LED can also provide brighter colour contrast, as it does not blur under sunlight, and it can be more power-efficient than existing display technologies. Also, micro-LED panels can be flexible and even foldable like OLED ones.”
Wu and Ting-Fang conclude by saying that at this stage Apple is the only firm with the ability to introduce micro-LED — a technology still in its infancy — at such an early stage in its development due to the fact that it can support the huge costs incurred by the relatively low yield rate.