According to TrendForce, Apple is expected to adopt micro-LED for its consumer electronic products in the close future.
The Apple Watch will likely be the first among Apple’s products to feature a micro-LED display, and the adoption is anticipated to occur in 2024. Then, during the period from 2026 to 2030, the application scope of micro-LED could expand to encompass AR headset displays, smartphone displays, automotive displays, etc.
TrendForce believes Apple will make a breakthrough for its smartwatch in 2024 by incorporating micro-LED. With this technology, the display of the Apple Watch could exceed two inches and achieve an even higher contrast level. Such improvements would satisfy the viewing needs of professionals and enthusiasts of various outdoor sporting activities, notes the research group.
What’s more, TrendForce says if Apple wants to release an AR headset or a pair of AR glasses that features a completely transparent display in the future, then micro-LED is most likely its first choice for the display technology. Regarding the smartphone market, most brands in the Android camp have made foldable OLED display a main design feature for their upcoming flagship models.
However, Apple as the second largest smartphone brand has yet to enter the much-discussed market segment for foldable OLED models. TrendForce believes a possible reason as to why Apple is slow to enter this segment is its focus on micro-LED. In addition to rigid backplanes that have glass and CMOS, Micro LED is also highly suitable for flexible backplanes made of PI or other kinds of materials with similar attributes.
By adopting micro-LED, Apple may be able to make iPhone displays foldable, rollable, and even “stretchable” in the future, notes Trendforce. Hence, micro-LED “has the potential to be the key technology that Apple will use to realize game-changing product innovations and thereby get further ahead of other brands in the market competition,” adds the research group.