Apple Reportedly in Talks With PlayNitride Over Thinner and Brighter MicroLED Displays

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Apple is in preliminary talks with Taiwan-based company PlayNitride over cooperation in the MicroLED market, according to DigiTimes via Micro-LED-Info.


While the report doesn't provide any further details about the potential partnership, PlayNitride has developed its own MicroLED displays called PixeLED that may be of interest to Apple for its future products. Samsung was also reportedly interested in the company back in early 2017, but no deal transpired.

PlayNitride is said to have received approval from the Taiwanese government to establish a multimillion-dollar facility at Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan, where it will produce its MicroLED technologies.

Apple's interest in MicroLED displays was first reported in 2015, when it was discovered that the company opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the display technology. Since then, Apple has reportedly downsized its team in Taiwan and shifted the efforts closer to its headquarters.

Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Apple has a secret facility in Santa Clara, California, near Cupertino, where it is allegedly designing and producing test samples of its own MicroLED displays. The displays are reportedly being manufactured by TSMC, which already produces A-series chips for iPhones.

MicroLED is widely considered to be Apple's next step after OLED, which it currently uses for the Apple Watch and iPhone X.

Image Credit: TrendForce

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.

Apple's use of MicroLED would likely start small, with the Apple Watch, followed by iPhones and then iPads. A recent report said Apple may even use MicroLED for its widely rumored augmented reality glasses. However, the transition away from LCDs and OLEDs is widely believed to be at least a few years away.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly in Talks With PlayNitride Over Thinner and Brighter MicroLED Displays
 
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orev

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2015
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Great to hear this is moving forward. Is it too much of a stretch to expect for the next Apple Watch?
This is still in development so very unlikely to be in any products in the next year or two, though you never know. Could be that we're seeing leaks now because of a higher volume of components being ordered, which would indicate they are further along than these reports suggest. Developing and then commercializing a new technology takes a long time.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 68040
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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.
Assuming that a thinner display would lead to a thinner Apple Watch, this is great news.

Apple obsession with thin devices gets kind of annoying when it leads to performance compromises, but if there was ever an Apple device that I think needs to be thinner, the Apple Watch would be it.
 

MrUNIMOG

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
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A thinner watch is probably good, but the phone seems thin enough.

What would help is longer battery life!
I wouldn't mind if my iPhone X was a little thinner and lighter.

Heck, it's even thicker than my iPhone 5s which is four years older.

Since iPhone 6, iPhones have been getting thicker with new every generation except iPhone 7.

So I really don't see where people are getting that impression that iPhones were becoming ever thinner...
 

BvizioN

macrumors 601
Mar 16, 2012
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but if there was ever an Apple device that I think needs to be thinner, the Apple Watch would be it.
I don't get this. Guys from what I have seen are obsessed with bulky watches. Not sure why this should be different.
By the way I agree with you and I want thinner Apple Watch. Is just that most guys I have seen use masive watches.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
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I don't get this. Guys from what I have seen are obsessed with bulky watches. Not sure why this should be different.
By the way I agree with you and I want thinner Apple Watch. Is just that most guys I have seen use masive watches.
I don't wear watches, and I am not obsessed with any watch, let alone bulky ones. I am interested in the AW though.

I never heard of guys liking bulky watches, is it because of status? Or functionality?

Maybe it is because I don't wear a watch, but the current AW size is too thick for me. I would rather something really thin.
 
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MrGimper

macrumors 603
Sep 22, 2012
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Sounds good, but I'm not personally fussed if the watch gets thinner or not. I like it how it is. I suppose there's more of an argument to make more space for bigger, better batteries tho, rather than make the device thinner.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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Apple is better off making their own displays. Quality from display manufacturing companies has been awful these years... It's just a numbers game for them now.
Apple has no experience in large-scale manufacturing of displays so it would not only be very expensive from an infrastructure standpoint, getting that quality up to speed would also be expensive. The result would be much more expensive retail prices than now.

While Samsung manufactures the iPhone X OLED display, they do so to Apple's specifications and based on reviews and testing, Apple demands higher quality for their Samsung-sourced displays than Samsung does for their Galaxy series. And while the LG OLEDs for the Google Pixel Plus phone have been panned by a number of reviewers and testers, I expect this is more down to what Google is willing to pay for than a fundamental flaw in LG's OLED process considering how great their OLED TVs are (I own one and it is amazing).

So while people are understandably worried about the rumors LG will be the supplier for the iPhone X "Plus", Apple is going to demand high quality and therefore the "X Plus" display will be as good as the X.
 

djlythium

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2014
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Apple will be the leader in implementation of these displays. It will be like their lead in 3D sensing.

I think it's pretty clear Apple doesn't "invent" hardware technology. That's not the point.
I agree. I think their method of innovation is synthesizing existing technology in creative ways. This may lead to future inventions, but Apple's main technological benefit is their propensity for novel synthesis.
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
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I agree. I think their method of innovation is synthesizing existing technology in creative ways. This may lead to future inventions, but Apple's main technological benefit is their propensity for novel synthesis.
Right. The original iPhone had no new “invented” hardware.