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Apple may ditch OLED and introduce microLED-powered Apple Watches, but they’re at a least a few generations out

Future Apple Watch models are expected to feature microLED technology (Image source: Apple)
Future Apple Watch models are expected to feature microLED technology (Image source: Apple)
According to a DigiTimes report, the chairman of Epistar, a manufacturer of microLEDs purportedly working closely with Apple, claimed that smartwatch vendors are “showing an interest” in microLED technology. However, volume adoption will take a couple more years at least.
Arjun Krishna Lal,
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According to a DigiTimes report, the CEO of Epistar, a Taiwanese manufacturer of microLED technology, has claimed that microLED displays will be commonplace in smartwatches in the next 3-4 years. With earlier reports tying Apple’s microLED initiatives to Epistar, this is a strong indication that the Apple Watch might switch over from conventional OLED technology to microLEDs in the years to come. 

However, keeping in mind the adoption timeframes provided by the Epistar CEO, it’s not likely that we’ll see Apple Watches with microLED displays for at least a couple years. MicroLED technology is currently substantially more expensive than OLED. However, it has a number of key advantages over both LCDs and OLED panels. 

MicroLED allows for extremely high contrast levels like OLED, but are capable of either outputting more light or delivering the same display brightness with substantially lower power draw. Due to their architecture, microLED technology allows for much thinner devices, which means we could see zero-bezel or roll-up devices become mainstream. 

The timeframes mentioned, unfortunately, mean that we might have to wait a bit longer than expected to see microLED tech deployed in iPads and iPhones

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 453 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2019
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. Apart from working as an editor at Notebookcheck, I write for outlets including TechSpot and Gamingbolt. I’m the Director of Content at Flying V Group, one of the top 5 digital marketing agencies in Orange County. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > Apple may ditch OLED and introduce microLED-powered Apple Watches, but they’re at a least a few generations out
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-08-10 (Update: 2020-08-10)