Apple's future looks "brighter" with new displays

Onur Demirkol
Mar 14, 2023

Apple wants to continue improving its display options, as the latest rumors show that Apple Watch Ultra with microLED screen will launch by 2025.

According to a report by Digi Times Asia, Apple is actively developing microLED technology, and Taiwan makers may become second suppliers. OSRAM will supply microLED chips, but some Taiwanese companies might also become additional suppliers in the upcoming years.

This is not "breaking news," as Apple has already been developing microLED technology since 2014. The company acquired LuxVue to enter the market, mainly to integrate vertically. Apple is known for being one of the most successful companies when it comes to vertical integration, or, in other words, controlling its products or services production, distribution, and retailing,

Multiple sources and leakers, including Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, said the Apple Watch Ultra would get a microLED display, probably starting in 2024. Apple currently holds partnerships with brands like Samsung and LG to manufacture its product displays, but things will change starting next year. The company wants to push more in-house components to reduce reliance on these partnerships. However, it will still get help from other companies.

microLED technology will be available with Apple Watch Ultra in 2025 because it is challenging to produce, and manufacturing costs are high. That is why Apple is rolling it out on the smallest premium device before larger devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

According to the latest reports, microLED displays are expected to launch on this specific Apple Watch model by 2025.
OLED vs microLED Credit: 9to5Mac

Many reports show that the main goal is to launch it in 2024, but the timeframe could slip into 2025. MacRumors' report shows that the new Apple Watch Ultra will likely adopt a 2.1-inch microLED display, larger than the current 1.9-inch display of the Ultra model, measured diagonally. It will allow increased brightness compared to current Apple Watch models, which use OLED displays.

While we expect a shift to microLED displays in 2024, Apple continues to update other devices' displays to OLED. Apple Watch family got their first OLED display back in 2015, and iPhones were the second to get it starting in 2017 gradually. The first iPad Pro and MacBook with OLED displays are expected to be released in 2024. After that, Apple's gradual display shift will probably head toward microLED.


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