The next Apple Watch could be the first from the company to feature a MicroLED display.
According to a fresh report from Bloomberg, the smartwatch could soon feature the budding display technology, with Apple looking to make a "significant investment" over the coming years. The move would see typical OLED screens currently used in the Watch replaced by the low-power equivalent, with a prototype reportedly already in the works.
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MicroLED displays have a couple of advantages over OLED displays. They require about half the power, so they're much more energy efficient. They're also brighter and have higher contrast ratios. It's also possible to tune colours to be more vibrant and richer. And, most importantly for Jony Ive, they're thinner, which means they enable thinner devices - or in this case, thinner Apple Watches.
The rumour suggests that Apple produced its first MicroLED Apple Watch sample last year — codenamed the T159 project — with the smartwatch targeted as the area in which Apple will debut the new technology, instead of the iPhone. Initial manufacture of the displays is said to be taking place in a large facility in Santa Clara, with the long-term aim to halt the reliance on competitors, such as LG and Samsung, to produce screens.
Apple would still have to outsource the manufacture of its displays to bring it to a mass market device, but developing the technology itself would allow it to set certain standards within quality and, generally, have more of a say in what's going into one of its products.
And it's something we've seen Apple build towards for some time now. Back in 2014, it acquired LuxVue, a company working on bringing MicroLED to mass market devices, and that initial foray is now allegedly being ramped up.
Just when we see the fruits of the company's labour remains to be seen, but it appears there's a chance it could be as early as this year through the next Apple Watch.
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