Apple will likely outsource production of its new micro-LED display technology to avoid manufacturing snafus and because its secret California facility is reportedly too small for mass-production. The company wants to keep this promising proprietary technology away from its partners as long as possible, the story goes.
2017 iPhones may ditch traditional LCDs for a lot brighter, much more power-efficient OLED display technology. However, the OLED switch could be short-lived as Apple is said to be adopting emerging Micro-LED display panels. Micro-LED screens could debut on 2017 Apple Watch models.
Micro-LEDs range in size from one micron to one hundred microns. Skating to where the puck’s going to be, Apple in May 2014 bought Micro-LED developer LuxVue Technology, adding their talent to to its hardware innovations team. The iPhone maker also set up an R&D center in Taiwan to research Micro-LEDs.
Here’s a technology primer providing a layman’s overview of the current state of Micro-LED technology and how it could benefit Apple by helping its teams engineer devices that would rock longer-lasting batteries and have significantly brighter screens.
Apple’s Tenth Anniversary iPhone due next year is widely expected to use the superior AMOLED display technology, but only for a short while as the Cupertino company looks to adopt the emerging Micro-LED screens in the long run, according to a report from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes.
Micro-LEDs waste far less battery power compared to other commercially viable display technologies, making them ideally suited for mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. Traditional TFT LCD panels waste a lot of energy because they require a backlight.
Apple is reportedly prepping to switch from flexible OLED screens utilized on the current Apple Watch to a more power-efficient micro-LED display technology that could be used for an Apple Watch hardware update in 2017, DigiTimes reported Friday. The Taiwanese trade publication said Apple could replace OLED displays in the Apple Watch with micro-LED panels as early as the second half of 2017.
Apple has acquired LuxVue Technology, a company that makes low-power displays for mobile electronics, according to TechCrunch. Citing sources close to the transaction, the site reports that the iPad-maker has added LuxVue to its hardware innovations team.
Little is known about the deal, and even less is known about the company. Other than its big $43 million in funding, LuxVue has managed to fly under the radar. Patents reveal, however, that it specializes in micro-LED tech that could be used in future iOS devices…