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Apple supplier LG has reportedly purchased multiple patents that could help it produce the displays for Apple's rumored next-generation Apple Watch Ultra model with a microLED display.

apple-watch-ultra-1-1.jpg

The Elec reports that the patents purchased from a Taiwanese company have to do with the "transfer printing process" in microLED, as well as microLED technologies related to stacking, touch control sensing, AR, VR, and HUD.

The transfer printing process is said to be one of the most challenging aspects of the technology because the process involves planting chips that are a few micrometers (μm) to several dozen nanometers in size into their correct positions.

The small size of the chips makes execution difficult, while the low yield of the transcription process requires a repair process to replace defective microLEDs, all of which leads to higher costs.

Despite this, LG's purchase of the microLED patents is said to be a reflection of its willingness to improve the profitability of microLED production. LG is already constructing a small production line to supply Apple with microLED displays destined for an Apple Watch model. Opening in the second half of 2024, the facility will reportedly supply microLED backplanes and assemble Apple's displays.

Information shared in April by display analyst Ross Young suggested that an Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display would launch in the second half of 2025 at the earliest, rather than late 2024 as was originally rumored.

However, a July report by TrendForce claims it has been postponed for a second time and is unlikely to emerge before the first quarter of 2026, due to problems relating to high manufacturing costs which need to be solved before Apple can proceed to mass production.

The current ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ uses standard OLED technology, whereas microLED offers many of the benefits of OLED along with some improvements.

Compared to LED displays, microLED is much more energy efficient and it would likely notably increase battery life on the ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ and other devices that adopt the technology in the future. Unlike OLED, there's much less risk of screen burn-in, and microLEDs have a longer potential lifetime.

MicroLED displays also provide contrast improvements and faster response times because of the pixel-level individual lights, plus the color is better and brighter. In a nutshell, it's a next-generation technology superior to OLED and miniLED.

The ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ is expected to be the first Apple device to adopt a microLED display, due to the small screen and pixel density of smartwatches. Apple is said to be planning to adopt the technology in smartphones, AR devices, and other devices in the future.

Article Link: Apple Supplier LG Invests in MicroLED Patents for Apple Watch Ultra Displays
 
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Leon Ze Professional

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Sep 23, 2021
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"Compared to LED displays, microLED is much more energy efficient and it would likely notably increase battery life on the ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌"

"Unlike OLED, there's much less risk of screen burn-in, and microLEDs have a longer potential lifetime."

"MicroLED displays also provide contrast improvements and faster response times because of the pixel-level individual lights, plus the color is better and brighter."

The three points above highlight why MicroLED is the holy grail of screen technology. Make it happen, Apple!
 

Mizhou

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2012
62
45
weren't we led to believe that Apple has been working on this for 10 years? and now LG will step in?
The hype continues ...
Just like Apple designs it’s own processors and TSMC manufactures them, Apple is “designing” and developing the microLED and LG might manufacture them.

From what I understand, the patents that LG bought are related to manufacturing the micriLEDs.
 

ACHD

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2015
193
332
If I bought an OG Ultra I'd be pissed rn
Why they say its for a line for late 2024. the next model won;t even have it for 2023.

and no one should be pissed when the refresh cycle is yearly.
If you know products are refreshed yearly then you always know products can be replaced in 365 days.

If you are pissed thats all on you.
 
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ACHD

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2015
193
332
weren't we led to believe that Apple has been working on this for 10 years? and now LG will step in?
The hype continues ...
Apple does not have the skills to manufacture sheeet. Most companies don't. Most companies design something and rely on the manufacture to actually get it done and to even tell them if its possible currently.

Thats what people forget about apple.
Apple is a designer that is constrained by how much money they want to blow when a mfg tells them "hey current yields are dog sheeet for what you want" and constrained by the fact sometimes the MFG tells them. yea no thats not happening right now.

People have to remember what apple is.

Apple has ALWAYS relied on MFG as the skills to mfg and tech to mfg them are not owned by apple but instead by others.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68040
Could someone in this p'd off camp please sell me their AW Ultra at a great discount? I could less about a 10% improvement in display tech...I just need 3 to 5 day battery life.

My current AW SS S4 has about a 1/2 day battery life #sad. Anyone else in my boat?
I switched from my S5 AW to a Garmin Epix 2 a year ago, primarily for the extended battery life (and the more masculine round form factor). Although I occasionally used the cellular on my AW, and the Garmin doesn’t offer cellular, but I really love not having to think about charging my watch for the better part of 2 weeks (less if I’m GPS tracking my outdoor bike rides). I’m not sure if I’ll go back to an Apple Watch, even if they extend the battery life to 3-5 days, when Garmin already offers the Epix 2 Pro with 30+ days of battery life.
 
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theotherphil

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Sep 21, 2012
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I switched from my S5 AW to a Garmin Epix 2 a year ago, primarily for the extended battery life (and the more masculine round form factor). Although I occasionally used the cellular on my AW, and the Garmin doesn’t offer cellular, but I really love not having to think about charging my watch for the better part of 2 weeks (less if I’m GPS tracking my outdoor bike rides). I’m not sure if I’ll go back to an Apple Watch, even if they extend the battery life to 3-5 days, when Garmin already offers the Epix 2 Pro with 30+ days of battery life.
Whilst the Epix line is great, of which I have one myself, it's aimed at a different market. The AWU is the best smartwatch, with some fitness features (albeit rapidly improving), the Epix is the best fitness watch, with some smart watch features.

There's just so many everyday interactions with the AWU for me that are important...calendar interactions, email/ message replies, Siri, using as a remote for HomeKit/ AppleTV, interacting with reminders, authorising passkeys, unlocking my Mac, screening calls, answering calls when my phone is not nearby etc, etc.

The battery life on the AWU is now good enough to get through a couple of bigs days but I cannot foresee anybody not being able to take advantage on putting their watch on charge for 10m daily whilst they jump in a shower....certainly not the demographic the AWU is aimed at, which I've found recovers my SOC >90% due to the fast charging.

If your only concern is battery life and placing a watch on charge for 10m is too much hassle, an old school Casio is the way to go.
 
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