Apple is planning to replace the iPhone with a better screen than OLED

Apple has seized the next opportunity in the display field.

At the beginning of this year, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that Apple will launch the Apple Watch Ultra equipped with a MicroLED screen by the end of 2024, but subsequent news indicates that due to supply chain and manufacturing cost issues, the Apple Watch Ultra with a MicroLED screen may have to wait until the end of 2025. Not even until early 2026.

Although there are still problems to be overcome in terms of process and cost, Mark Gurman believes that Apple intends to gradually introduce MicroLED technology into other Apple products, including Vision Pro and the rumored Apple Car.

Micro LED is considered to be the next development direction of display screens. Compared with Mini LED and OLED, Micro LED has several notable highlights.

First of all, the pixels of MicroLED are self-illuminating and do not require the backlight of traditional LCD screens. Therefore, it has characteristics similar to OLED, and can achieve more accurate local dimming than Mini LED, and can also achieve higher brightness.

Secondly, compared to OLED, MicroLED is produced using inorganic materials, which has a longer lifespan than OLED, and is not prone to the problem of "burn-in" on mobile phones with OLED screens.

Now that OLED screen mobile phones have become popular, many users still insist on "LCD will never be a slave", because the characteristics of OLED screens will make some people feel tired or even dizzy. With the development of MicroLED display technology in the future, the OLED screen of mobile phones may be gradually replaced by MicroLED.

In addition, the two most notable features of MicroLED: power saving and high pixel density

These two features make MicroLED ideal for watches with small batteries and screens. It can not only improve the battery life of the watch, but also improve the fineness of the display.

This year, AU Optronics has successfully mass-produced the world's first 1.39-inch MicroLED watch display, which will be the first to be supplied to luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer.

Technology industry consulting and market research organization TrendForce recently revealed that with the maturity of Micro LED production technology, Micro LED display devices will be used in more fields than smart watches.

TrendForce found that automakers in Europe, the United States, and Japan have shown great enthusiasm for adopting Micro LED technology. Micro LED screens will be used in automotive instrumentation, HUD, and other places that require high reliability and brightness. In the application of AR head display, Micro LED has certain advantages in brightness, energy consumption, pixel density, and light engine size (module responsible for generating and controlling light).

So they speculate that MicroLED may be integrated into a wider range of Apple products, including headsets, smartphones and cars.

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But Mark Gurman also said that the iPhone was equipped with an OLED screen for the first time in 2017, and the M3 version of the iPad Pro, which will be released early next year, may not be equipped with an OLED display for the first time. It has been six years since then. He believes that the popularity of MicroLED in Apple products will also take a while, and maybe Mac will be equipped with MicroLED in 10 years.

In January of this year, Mark Gurman stated in his Bloomberg column Power On that Apple has spent more than 6 years developing MicroLED technology, investing more than billions of dollars before and after, and its importance is almost the same as that of Apple's M-series chips. It is considered one of the Critical Projects within Apple.

Once Apple's self-developed MicroLED screens are widely used in products, it will not only help reduce dependence on screen suppliers such as Samsung and LG in the future, but also further reduce manufacturing costs.

At the same time, Apple is still trying to overcome 5G baseband-related technologies, trying to get rid of its dependence on Qualcomm in the future, and further increase the proportion of self-developed iPhone and other Apple product components.

Apple's self-developed Micro LED "seven years of sharpening a sword" has taken years of precipitation to show signs of success. So the question is, when will the iPhone use the MicroLED screen?

Judging from the development of Apple's technical route, it should wait until the successful application of Apple Watch Ultra, that is to say, smartphones are still at least 4 years away from this screen revolution.

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