Samsung, LG concerned by Apple's plans to replace OLED with micro-LED in 2017 Apple Watch ...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2017
Later this year, Apple is expected to begin production of its advanced new power-efficient display technology known as micro-LED, which is expected to initially be used to replace OLED in Apple Watch Series 3. The shift is part of a series of moves that is concerning Samsung, LG and other South Korean suppliers.




A recent report from Business Korea notes that Apple has been working with LuxVue (which it acquired in 2014) to develop new micro-LED screen production in the two years since the technology began gaining public attention in the summer of 2015.

Micro-LED was called "the only potentially disruptive technology" in an industry trade show at the time, as reported by Ken Werner of Display Daily in interviewing Candice Brown-Elliott, the creator of the Pentile Matrix pixel configuration used in Samsung OLED panels.

Werner added that "just as remarkable as this technology's potentially transformative nature is that micro LEDs (or microscale LEDs or -ILEDs) were not well known outside of the relatively small community of people who work on them before Apple acquired LuxVue last year, at which point a much wider community started scrambling to learn about them."

This February, Apple was granted patents related to LuxVue and micro-LED, specifically detailing the inclusion of sensing Infrared diodes with the ability to read fingerprints on the surface of the display, a technology that would enable incorporating Touch ID functionality into the screen itself.




Rumored iPhone 8 designs later this year are expected to use similar technology--or potentially a glass surface that acts as a lens to refract fingerprint images through a display to an optical sensor below it--to erase the need for a dedicated Touch ID sensor on the front bezel of future iPhones. However, the technology also conceptually enables the prospect of future Apple Watch models gaining the ability to read fingerprints on its screen.

The difficulty of producing micro-LED panels indicates that the new technology isn't yet capable of yielding large screen iPhone displays, but could get there over the next couple years. That makes Apple Watch a more ideal candidate for pioneering adoption of micro-LED, something that was already being rumored last summer.

The potential use of micro-LED in Apple Watch 3 would help fund and perfect the production of larger micro-LED screens suitable for use in iPhones, meaning that Apple's expected use of Samsung OLED screens for a new iPhone model this year may only be temporary.

Further, even before Apple moves away from OLED, it's likely to switch from Samsung OLEDs to OLED production from China, Business Korea stated. In addition to the loss of a billion dollars worth of OLED screens, Samsung and LG are also increasingly concerned that Apple will start sourcing its RAM and cameras elsewhere, too.

Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Toshiba's memory business for itself, ending nearly two decades of being among Samsung's largest RAM customers.

Business Korea stated that Apple's increasing efforts to develop its own components and diversify suppliers would have a serious impact on the nation's industry. Apple current buys $2.63 billion in components from South Korea, but the country's "prosperity from Apple is highly likely to end in two to three years," in large part due to competition from China in semiconductors and displays.
abedoss
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    Fantastic if true. Apple should 100% own this and "boy, have we patented it"!
    edited April 2017 rajeshkhaterbrian greenrepressthissockrolidjbishop1039ksecmejsricargonautwatto_cobraAirunJae
  • Reply 2 of 67
    What is the power draw of a microLED compared to an OLED of the same dimensions?
    abedossrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 67
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Imagine if the next iPhone had micro OLED displays?

    BAM! The whole industry blind-sided. 
    slprescottsockrolidjkichlineargonautwatto_cobraAirunJaejbdragonKevin KJLanton zuykov
  • Reply 4 of 67
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 365member
    What is the power draw of a microLED compared to an OLED of the same dimensions?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroLED
    "Unlike OLED, mLED is based on conventional 
    GaN LED technology, which offers far higher total brightness than OLED products, as much as 30 times, as well as higher efficiency in terms of lux/W. It also does not suffer from the shorter lifetimes of OLED, although the multi-year lifespan of modern OLEDs has mitigated this issue in most roles."
    abedossrepressthisdysamoriasockrolidradarthekatjbishop1039pscooter63mejsricsteveauwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    What is the power draw of a microLED compared to an OLED of the same dimensions?
    Amazing what one can find on Wikipedia   ;)  :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroLED
  • Reply 6 of 67
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,175member
    How is micro-LED not capable of yielding large screen iPhone displays? Sony made a 55" micro-LED TV in 2012. 
  • Reply 7 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    How is micro-LED not capable of yielding large screen iPhone displays? Sony made a 55" micro-LED TV in 2012. 
    I'd still like to see Apple form a deal with Sony to gain access to their patent trove.
    sockrolidwatto_cobraAirunJae
  • Reply 8 of 67
    What is the power draw of a microLED compared to an OLED of the same dimensions?
    Amazing what one can find on Wikipedia   ;)  :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroLED
    Sorry - had a couple of minutes during a build and didn't think to - you know - do the research ;)

    I'm mainly interested as I'd like Apple to get over 2 days between charges with heavy use (I get 2.5 days between charges with my 42mm S2, but I'm a potato)...
    slprescottrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    What is the power draw of a microLED compared to an OLED of the same dimensions?
    Amazing what one can find on Wikipedia   ;)  :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroLED
    Sorry - had a couple of minutes during a build and didn't think to - you know - do the research ;)

    I'm mainly interested as I'd like Apple to get over 2 days between charges with heavy use (I get 2.5 days between charges with my 42mm S2, but I'm a potato)...
    I'm hoping version 3 will enable them to break the 3-4 day barrier (depending on use) and I'll definitely be a buyer then.
    repressthisargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 67
     I would like to see Samsung churn out new technologies when they will not have anything to copy from Apple as Apple won't be sourcing anything from them in the future!
    SpamSandwichrepressthisdysamoriagilly017argonautwatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
     I would like to see Samsung churn out new technologies when they will not have anything to copy from Apple as Apple won't be sourcing anything from them in the future!
    Excellent point.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 67
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,175member
    How is micro-LED not capable of yielding large screen iPhone displays? Sony made a 55" micro-LED TV in 2012. 
    I'd still like to see Apple form a deal with Sony to gain access to their patent trove.
    A deal between Sony and Apple would be extremely beneficial for both companies. 
    repressthissockrolidSpamSandwichargonautwatto_cobra[Deleted User]
  • Reply 14 of 67
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,280member
    I guess this means production quality of large micro LED displays won't be good enough for the future Mac Pro and pro display... I've long lamented the contrast ratio loss ever since CRT (abysmal in many ways but color and contrast ratio) was replaced by LCD. LCD can look good, but it's just not capable of replacing CRT for contrast ratio and color. OLED never got there either.

    Hopefully micro LED will be built in modules so that the whole 27" screen doesn't have to be trashed if there're a few defective LEDs on the panel.... The more impressive our technology, the less fault tolerant the manufacturing process, and the more wasteful the industry. 
  • Reply 15 of 67
    So, what if the talk about a touch bar at the bottom of the phone was really a micro LED panel with the fingerprint sensor embedded in it;  and an OLED panel was the main screen? 
     And maybe the next generation of the MacBook Pro has a micro LED Touch Bar? 
    radarthekatRayz2016argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 67
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,071member
    This is the beauty of Apple's position of knowing they have such a regular and reliable huge cash flow; they have the time it takes to develop things like this without needing to do it half assed. Bit by bit Apple will skewer Samsung but all in due course. 
    edited April 2017 wonkothesanegilly017radarthekatargonautwatto_cobrabrucemcbadmonk
  • Reply 17 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    baederboy said:
    So, what if the talk about a touch bar at the bottom of the phone was really a micro LED panel with the fingerprint sensor embedded in it;  and an OLED panel was the main screen? 
     And maybe the next generation of the MacBook Pro has a micro LED Touch Bar? 
    IMO, the Touch Bar is deader than dead. Pros rejected the new MacBook Pros and the Touch Bar didn't help their cause.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,138member
    baederboy said:
    So, what if the talk about a touch bar at the bottom of the phone was really a micro LED panel with the fingerprint sensor embedded in it;  and an OLED panel was the main screen? 
     And maybe the next generation of the MacBook Pro has a micro LED Touch Bar? 
    Two screens one low power draw so always on and can tell that a registered finger is touching it. That would be very interesting developement.
    You could have home icon and 2-3 apps always visible slide for music or camera controls. Would be interesting is if it second ran on it's own T1 chip.

    edited April 2017 watto_cobra[Deleted User]
  • Reply 19 of 67
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,936member
    baederboy said:
    So, what if the talk about a touch bar at the bottom of the phone was really a micro LED panel with the fingerprint sensor embedded in it;  and an OLED panel was the main screen? 
     And maybe the next generation of the MacBook Pro has a micro LED Touch Bar? 
    IMO, the Touch Bar is deader than dead. Pros rejected the new MacBook Pros and the Touch Bar didn't help their cause.
    Gruber had a post on his site stating that a poll was 50-50. My expectation is that Apple will provide an option for either for the 15" Mac Book Pro as a different SKU.

    Here's another link;

    http://www.techradar.com/news/apple-may-drop-the-touch-bar-for-its-cheaper-15-inch-macbook-pro
  • Reply 20 of 67
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 143member
    make a round apple watch please
    ksec
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