Apple Watch With A Micro-LED Display Tipped For 2026
Apple is tipped to release an Apple Watch Ultra with a micro-LED screen in 2026.
That’s good and bad news. The good news is that Apple finally looks like producing a micro-LED device. It has been a long wait. It’s 9 years since Apple acquired LuxVue Technology in 2014. That company had been working on the development of micro-LED technology way back then. The bad news is that earlier projections suggested an Apple Watch Ultra with a micro-LED display would be available a year earlier.
Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) had predicted that Apple would launch it in 2025. “Our understanding is that production of the micro-LED displays will indeed start in 2024, but Apple will likely launch the new product in 2025,” DSCC said in January.
That now appears less likely with market intelligence firm TrendForce predicting production will start in the first quarter of 2026.
“TrendForce evaluated that Apple is researching and developing micro-LED technology, but it is still in the sample stage due to both high technical difficulty and high manufacturing cost,” says publication Patently Apple.
It says Apple had spent more than $US1 billion over 10 years to research micro-LED technology to reduce its dependence on using Samsung displays.
Apple Watch is regarded as the simplest device to trial a micro-LED display because of its small size, but iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and even virtual and augmented reality devices such as Apple Vision Pro would be obvious targets.
Micro-LED displays use tiny LEDs to create blue, red and green pixels. They are regarded as offering better colour saturation, and more efficiency, brightness and durability compared to current generation organic LED (OLED) displays. Micro-LED screens retain the deep blacks and wide-colour gamut which are signature features of OLED, and can be configured as flexible screens.
Micro-LED displays have already made their way to TVs by Samsung, LG and Sony.
But predictions are just that. In 2019, 9to5Mac reported that Apple was gearing to switch from OLED to micro-LED displays in Apple Watch by 2020. That prediction is now at least six years off. As with OLED screens initially, production of micro-LED displays is complex and manufacturing costs are large, so don’t get too excited yet.