Is Apple switching to micro-LED?

Later this year, Apple is expected to begin production of its advanced new power-efficient display technology known as micro-LED, which is expected to initially be used to replace OLED in Apple Watch Series 3 and iPhone will follow suit. Micro-LED displays are expected to be thinner, lighter and more energy efficient than OLED or LCD screens.

Though Apple is expected to launch an OLED iPhone this year, a new report from Korea suggests that Apple is already working on a new screen technology. Apple has been working with LuxVue (which it acquired in 2014) to develop new micro-LED screen. A recent report from Business Korea notes that, the Apple Watch Series 3 will have a micro-LED display rather than an OLED screen as its predecessors. The report claims that the firm and its suppliers will begin volume production of micro-LED panels for the next Apple Watch in Taiwan at the end of the year.

Both the iPhone8 and iPhone9 are widely believed to incorporate OLED or AMOLED panels, to be initially supplied exclusively by Samsung Display and, from next year by additional vendors like Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display. Most of these vendors have already invested in capacity expansion. Switching to micro-LED would result in huge losses for these companies. LG that is the exclusive supplier of flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 is expected to take a financial hit of over $200 million if Apple switches from OLED to micro-LED. The report also says that Samsung and LG would lose around $1 billion a year if they lose Apple’s business.