Apple Recently Visited With Taiwanese Makers of Thinner and Brighter MicroLED and MiniLED Displays

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Apple representatives attended the Touch Taiwan display industry convention in Taipei this week, holding private meetings with Taiwanese display makers AU Optronics and Epistar, according to the Economic Daily News.


The report claims Apple held the meetings to learn more about each company's development of next-generation display technologies MicroLED and MiniLED, suitable for future generations of iPhones and Apple Watches. As those names suggest, both technologies utilize arrays of very tiny LEDs.

In May, AU Optronics received a Best in Show award at the Display Week 2018 convention in Los Angeles for its multiple advanced display technologies, including the "world's highest resolution and full color TFT driven 8-inch micro LED display technology," according to the company's press release.

Apple is said to be most interested in MicroLED, as MiniLED is described as more of a transitionary technology that it may skip.

Apple has been exploring MicroLED displays since at least 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. In 2015, Apple reportedly opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the technology, but has since shifted the efforts to Santa Clara, California, near its headquarters.

In addition to AU Optronics and Epistar, Apple has reportedly collaborated with its contract manufacturer TSMC to develop methods of mass producing MicroLED panels. Apple also reportedly held talks with another Taiwanese company PlayNitrite, which has developed its own MicroLED solution PixeLED.

MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks given both have self-lit pixels, but they are even thinner, much brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels.

Image Credit: TrendForce

MiniLED displays also have benefits such as improved brightness and contrast ratio, but they have a backlight like LCDs.

As with OLED, Apple's use of MicroLED would likely start small, with the Apple Watch, followed by the iPhone. A recent report said Apple may use MicroLED for its widely rumored augmented reality glasses as well.

All in all, the transition to MicroLED should lead to even better displays and longer battery life on future Apple devices.

Article Link: Apple Recently Visited With Taiwanese Makers of Thinner and Brighter MicroLED and MiniLED Displays
 
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[AUT] Thomas

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@MacRumors: Please elaborate on MiniLED.
An LED doesn't need backlight. Never heard of MiniLED tbh...

Anyway... µLED is the future... we could have had that already years ago if Samsung and LG didn't go all-in on OLED, which is nice, but the research cost for that skyrocketed to a level that could have funded µLED a few times. The fact that (in comparison small) Sony (on its own) had a working µLED prototyp TV years ago is enough proof of that...
 
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78Bandit

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Maybe on the iPhone in 2025. Samsung will have it on the Galaxy at least two or three years ahead of Apple.
 
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deeddawg

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I'm all for any new display technology which reduces the "my backlight bleeds in a dark closet in the basement at midnight" complaints...
 

zzu

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I’m looking forward to the products incorporating microLED: iPhones, watches, glasses and maybe other wearables...
 

Sevanw

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Already copying Samsung. Always playing catch up. Actually, they're not copying Samsung, as Samsung is an actual OEM who already developed the world's first MicroLED TV, and not a packaging company of parts from suppliers. Lol
 
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Harthag

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Lord help us if AU Craptronics starts making displays for iPhones. Worst QC in the industry. Their high refresh rate monitors suffer from dead and stuck pixels, dust specs, poor uniformity, and backlight bleed. Even eye lashes / eye brows. Same issues with laptop screens made by them. Trash company.

They'd better seriously upgrade their game to meet Apple standards.
 

ksec

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Dec 23, 2015
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@MacRumors: Please elaborate on MiniLED.
An LED doesn't need backlight. Never heard of MiniLED tbh...

Anyway... µLED is the future... we could have had that already years ago if Samsung and LG didn't go all-in on OLED, which is nice, but the research cost for that skyrocketed to a level that could have funded µLED a few times. The fact that (in comparison small) Sony (on its own) had a working µLED prototyp TV years ago is enough proof of that...
Mac Rumours isn't really a tech site so don't expect a technical description of it.

µLED can be categorize as LED per Pixel ( Or more like few Colour LED per Pixel ), and Mini LED is an backlight technology like the current LED, except you get many more of them tiny areas. So while the size of the LED inside the Samsung's µLED Display "The Wall" are larger than those LED used in MiniLED display, due to the nature of LED per Pixel they are still called µLED.

While µLED are making great progress, there still aren't a working prototype that could rivals OLED in PPI and quality yet. There is however Ferroelectric LCD which seems to be just as good as µLED and will be ready sooner.
 
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