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Leaker Suggests MicroLED Apple Watch Not Coming This Year

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The Apple Watch Series 6 will feature an OLED screen like previous models, according to a leaker of upcoming Apple products, suggesting the company isn't quite ready to use its in-house MicroLED display technology in consumer products.


Apple reportedly has a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California where it is designing and producing test samples of displays that use MicroLED, a technology that will follow OLED. MicroLED screens can result in devices that are slimmer, brighter, and use less power.

The technology isn't expected to reach an iPhone for another year or so, but there is precedent for new screen technologies showing up in the Apple Watch first. When it was introduced in 2014, the Apple Watch had an OLED screen. The technology then migrated to the iPhone X three years later.

Apple is said to have been testing prototype Apple Watch models with MicroLED displays since 2017, and rumors have suggested an Apple Watch with a microLED display could launch as soon as this year.

However, the Twitter account @L0vetodream, whose short Apple leaks come prefaced with "in my dream," this morning claimed the Series 6 "will continue [to] use the display from JDI."

Over the last couple of years, JDI Display has supplied some of the OLED displays for Apple Watch models, and Apple has been gradually increasing its proportion of orders from the manufacturer, which was recently buoyed by a $200 million investment from Apple to enable larger production of OLED displays for iPhones.


Apple Watch Series 6 models, which are in development for a fall 2020 launch, are rumored to feature faster performance, better water resistance and improved wireless transmission for faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds.

According to code found in a leaked version of iOS 14, Apple is working on watchOS 7 and Apple Watch Series 6 features that will allow the Apple Watch to detect blood oxygen levels and panic attacks. Apple may also add a new fitness app and a sleep tracking app to the Apple Watch.

The anonymously-run Twitter account @L0vetodream accurately revealed several details about the new ‌iPhone SE‌ before any other leakers that we know of, including that the device would launch in the second week of April and come in three storage capacities. Likewise, the account accurately claimed that new iPad Pro models would launch in the third week of March. It has also hinted at a 2021 release for a rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Article Link: Leaker Suggests MicroLED Apple Watch Not Coming This Year
 
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UltimaKilo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2007
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FL
Without the new display, it’s very unlikely that I will upgrade. The Apple Watch needs at least 2 more hours of battery life for sleep tracking, and it’s unlikely they will get there with the same display.
 
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fokmik

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of course not, not even next year, to shrink the microLED pixels is something very very hard
i will not be surprised that microLED will come to bigger displays like 6K or imac etc
 
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Alexander_im

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
26
9
2021 gonna be exciting and expensive year.

1) 14” MacBook Pro Mini-LED
2) iPad Pro Mini-LED
3) Wireless iPhone (presumably with under-the-screen touch id)
4) Apple Watch 7 with new design (and probably Micro-LED screen)
5) Apple Glass
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
655
784
Graz [Austria]
Apple Watch needs to last 24hrs without charging before I will consider ever getting one.
Unless used for sports (especially with GPS) the battery drain per day is approx. 33%. I.e I charge it every 2nd or 3rd day. When i take it off overnight and switch it off, it will easily last 3 days.

However, when using any watch for sports, navigation,... every watch will drain quickly. Even a smarthone doesn't last a day with GPS on for a longer period of time.
 
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gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
934
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New York, NY
I was disappointed by this and then I remembered the Apple Watch display is already amazing. microLED would not bring any new features (although it might add issues, 1st gen tech!) to the watch like it would on the iPad or MacBook. The best thing about it was just a preview of things to come. Selfishly, since I need a new watch this year, I'm fine with that!

Without the new display, it’s very unlikely that I will upgrade. The Apple Watch needs at least 2 more hours of battery life for sleep tracking, and it’s unlikely they will get there with the same display.
I'm not convinced current microLED is actually more power efficient. Look how thick, power hungry, and hot current micro/miniLED displays are right now. *Maybe* brighter but the Apple Watch screen is already pretty cutting edge with LTPO and variable refresh rates to save power. I agree the watch needs more battery life—although I'd say 50% or 6-9 more hours—I'm just not sure the screen is where to get it. I think a combo of savings from the SoC, or SIP, is more likely.

If the Watch 6 SIP is about the same speed but 5nm, we should see significant power savings. My understanding is you usually get increased power OR efficiency from a process shrink—unless you use the shrink to build a bigger processor but I don't think that should be the goal. If Apple is able to integrate the modems (WiFi & cellular, remember it bought the Intel modem division last year) directly into the 5nm SIP that's even more power & space savings. So fewer chips all built on smaller process that take up less space should also allow for a slightly larger battery. Bigger batter + more efficient silicon = a jump in battery life. Will upgraded/new sensor counter balance that? I don't know. Very excited and hope my series 3 holds out that long!
 
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fokmik

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Look how thick, power hungry, and hot current micro/miniLED displays are right now.
what microLED?? you are confused, microLED is the next BIG thing, and for now microLED are only in BIG TV...so how do you know that are power hungry?? and thick??
ahhahahah
microLED are invented to take only the adv from lcd and oled and without any disav from them
miniLED is just another lcd, just more advance
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I have a Series 4 and it does everything I want it to do. All I want with a Series 6 is for it to be thinner.

I never understand the ‘thinner‘ comments about the Apple Watch. Have you looked at the competition in terms of smart watches? Garmin, Samsung Galaxy gear watches, etc. are all relatively substantially thicker than the Apple Watch. It’s not that ‘thick’.

But to the point, when micro LED does debut, it should allow for less power draw versus OLED, which may reduce having a smaller battery, thus maybe making the Apple Watch thinner in the future.
 
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totom_

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
56
195
of course not, not even next year, to shrink the microLED pixels is something very very hard
i will not be surprised that microLED will come to bigger displays like 6K or imac etc
It's exactly the opposite. It's far easier to make a microled display for a watch as just 300x400 ish pixels need to be perfect. A 4k TV has something like 3840x2160 pixels, not to talk about a 6k display.
 
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fbr$

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2020
287
456
Without the new display, it’s very unlikely that I will upgrade. The Apple Watch needs at least 2 more hours of battery life for sleep tracking, and it’s unlikely they will get there with the same display.
I don't know why the display's battery consumption would matter when you're sleeping and the display is supposed to be completely turned off.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,443
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I'm a rolling stone.
of course not, not even next year, to shrink the microLED pixels is something very very hard
i will not be surprised that microLED will come to bigger displays like 6K or imac etc

Huh, are you implying it is harder to make such a display in the size of the Apple watch, microleds don't shrink, they would be the same size on lets say an apple watch display or an iMac.
The bigger the display, the more pixels, not easy to pick and place them on a gigantic display, so yeah, it's harder to make bigger displays.
 
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Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
653
491
BFE, MI
I probably should replace my watch every two years by selling the old and getting what I can for it instead of keeping it into the third year when the battery life starts to degrade and the latest OS slows it down.

i’ll be keeping my eye on Watch 6. I’m already going for iPhone 12 for certain. My 7 has earned itself retirement.
 
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Adoniram

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2016
115
118
Fort Worth, TX
It's exactly the opposite. It's far easier to make a microled display for a watch as just 300x400 ish pixels need to be perfect. A 4k TV has something like 3840x2160 pixels, not to talk about a 6k display.

Generally speaking, TVs and larger displays are almost always easier. The pixel density is much lower, and by extension, the manufacturing tolerance can be lower. Each pixel is easier to build when you have more space to work with. True the total number of pixels that need to be perfect is higher, but it is much easier to build more perfect tooling and processes to make that happen when density is much lower.

The Apple Watch already has a pixel density around 5x higher than a large flat panel (like 55-65” screen), and iPhone has an even higher density.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,443
7,883
I'm a rolling stone.
Generally speaking, TVs and larger displays are almost always easier. The pixel density is much lower, and by extension, the manufacturing tolerance can be lower. Each pixel is easier to build when you have more space to work with. True the total number of pixels that need to be perfect is higher, but it is much easier to build more perfect tooling and processes to make that happen when density is much lower.

The Apple Watch already has a pixel density around 5x higher than a large flat panel (like 55-65” screen), and iPhone has an even higher density.

The first 2 words in your post says it all.
These are not "normal" displays, the word says it all "microleds", tiny Leds, they have to pick & place them, guess what, a 1000 pixels are easier to pick & place than 1.000.000.
 
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totom_

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
56
195
Generally speaking, TVs and larger displays are almost always easier. The pixel density is much lower, and by extension, the manufacturing tolerance can be lower. Each pixel is easier to build when you have more space to work with. True the total number of pixels that need to be perfect is higher, but it is much easier to build more perfect tooling and processes to make that happen when density is much lower.

The Apple Watch already has a pixel density around 5x higher than a large flat panel (like 55-65” screen), and iPhone has an even higher density.

Generally speaking (LCD, OLED) you are right, but for MicroLED it is see opposite. This is also why i.e. Samsung's The Wall consists of multiple smaller panels. As it is too difficult right now to produce many pixels without failure.
 
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gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
934
649
New York, NY
what microLED?? you are confused, microLED is the next BIG thing, and for now microLED are only in BIG TV...so how do you know that are power hungry?? and thick??
ahhahahah
microLED are invented to take only the adv from lcd and oled and without any disav from them
miniLED is just another lcd, just more advance
I'm not confused. I'm just intrigued and I follow this tech pretty closely. There are very few microLED products on the market. The most visible is Samsung's "The Wall" which is is much, much thicker than competing OLED sets. So currently, from what is on the market, the size advantage of microLED is only compared to LCD not OLED.

Yes, miniLED works more like LED-array backlights, but so do microLED there are just more them and they are smaller. All the current miniLED TVs and monitors have trouble dissipating heat which, due to the laws of conservation of energy, means they are using a lot of energy.

I'm not dissing miniLED or microLED. While I think OLED's failings are often overstated, I can see the eventual advantages of microLED in particular for displays that are currently using traditional LCD panels.

[automerge]1590934132[/automerge]
Generally speaking (LCD, OLED) you are right, but for MicroLED it is see opposite. This is also why i.e. Samsung's The Wall consists of multiple smaller panels. As it is too difficult right now to produce many pixels without failure.
I think you are both correct but speaking at cross purposes. The Wall uses multiple smaller panels but it's pixel density is *also* much, much lower than what the watch or iPhone would need. So right now we aren't seeing microLED that's viable in either category in a product you can buy. In the lab perhaps there are ways around this but not at scale or at anything approaching reasonable cost.

As I understand it, there is not "standard" size for microLED pixels. There are dual challenges, making the non-organic LEDs small enough for each sub-pixel (you really need three separate LEDs for each pixel) to be functional invisible at the expected viewing distance and also making sure all of these million LEDs work—they are by definition microscopic.

EDIT: don't take my word on any of this, here's a review by someone who's actually gotten to review The Wall. https://www.pcmag.com/news/a-closer-look-at-samsungs-the-wall-microled-tv-system He backs up everything I'm saying: lots power, heat, and low-density pixel pitch. Lots of potential for the future but I can see how Apple wouldn't want it for their Watch (yet).
 
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