The Apple Watch is currently Apple’s only product with an OLED display, but with rumors swirling around that we could see an iPhone switching to the panel, the Apple Watch may be going down a different route.
According to a report from Nikkei, and citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the company plans to launch an Apple Watch with a Micro-LED display — and it could arrive as early as 2018. That would certainly line up with a previous rumor, suggesting that Apple was planning on trial production of the Apple Watch with Micro-LED by the end of 2017.
Of course, with this type of speculation there’s the belief that the move would mean Apple could displace itself from relying on Samsung so much. Those aforementioned OLED panels for the Apple Watch come from Samsung, so if the company could switch away from OLED, that reliance would be lessened. According to the report, Apple’s efforts in the Micro-LED market will be stationed in Taoyun, Taiwan.
It goes on further to say that Apple is the “only company” that’s currently in a position to roll out Micro-LED in a broad way, especially in the technology’s early development stages. That would certainly give Apple a leg up when compared to the competition, and give Apple a head start if any other companies eventually follow along in the future.
“Apple is working very hard to foster the micro-LED technology … the company could push the use of new display tech as early as next year,” said an executive with close knowledge of display technology.
“At this point, Apple is the only company who is able to roll out micro-LED, a technology that is still at an early stage of development, and cover the high costs incurred by the low yield rate,” the person said.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Micro-LED rollout for the Apple Watch has been rumored. Back in June of last year, for instance, it was rumored that the technology would be implemented in the Apple Watch by this year, available to the public. That didn’t pan out, but it’s beginning to sound at least possible we see a Micro-LED smartwatch from Apple next year.
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