LG buys patents to speed up bringing microLED to Apple Watch Ultra

in Apple Watch

LG Display has bought the rights to 14 patents that are all to do with the notoriously problematic microLED displays that Apple Watch Ultra is expected to gain by 2026.

Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra

MicroLED gives higher brightness and sharper images than OLED, and Apple has been believed to be planning to move to it. Originally it was reported that the company would start using it in a future generation of the Apple Watch Ultra, and then spread out to using it on most or all devices.

However, this plan then reportedly hit delays and most recently it was said that Apple Watch Ultra wouldn't get a microLED until some time in 2026. It was presumed that the delay was to do with production yield problems, and it appears that manufacturer LG Display has been working to surmount these.

According to The Elec, LG Display bought 14 US patents from Taiwanese firm Ultra Display Technology (UDT) in June 2023. While neither company has commented, unspecified industry sources say that all 13 of the registered patents and a single outstanding patent application concern microLED.

The patents chiefly concern what's called the transfer process, which entails planting several dozen chips a tight and specific location. LG has bought patents for how to handle particularly small chips.

It doesn't appear that buying the patents will shorten the time taken to introduce microLED to the Apple Watch Ultra. While news of the patents has only been revealed today, the purchase was made in June.

That's when the reports of a 2026 launch schedule were first heard, and it's not clear whether LG calculated its estimates after acquiring the patents.

Even without a microLED display, Apple is expected to introduce a second generation Apple Watch Ultra later in 2023. It's rumored that the new edition will be lighter than the first, and may possibly come with different color options.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 2
    mystigomystigo Posts: 183member
    "notoriously problematic microLED"

    I have been following the micro LED commercialization trends for a few years. That is the first time I have heard the technology described as "notoriously problematic". It is an emerging technology so yes there will be yield issues and pricing issues. However, that is common to many new technologies, especially at the scales at which micro LED operates. I can't surface a lot of articles that claim the technology is "notoriously problematic". A google search mainly finds this article. What is the source of that assertion and is it corroborated? Are so many people that pessimistic that the viability of micro LED is in doubt?
    edited August 2023 jdwAlex1NFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 2
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,369member
    I agree with Mystigo.  Indeed, I would label this article as being "problematic" for having used "notoriously problematic" without any explanation whatsoever, merely assuming that we all know as much about the matter than AppleInsider, which is not the case.  Yes, AppleInsider writers, we readers do indeed live under a rock, and that is precisely why we come here, for articles to educate us on matters we don't already know.
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