LG, an Apple supplier, invests in MicroLED patents for Apple Watch Ultra displays.

LG, an Apple supplier, invests in MicroLED patents for Apple Watch Ultra displays.

LG Acquires Patents for Apple Watch Ultra MicroLED Display

Apple Watch Ultra

LG’s Investment in MicroLED

Apple supplier LG has recently made an exciting move in its quest to produce the displays for Apple’s rumored next-generation Apple Watch Ultra model. According to reports from The Elec, LG has acquired multiple patents from a Taiwanese company, focusing on the “transfer printing process” in MicroLED technology. Additionally, these patents cover various MicroLED technologies such as stacking, touch control sensing, AR, VR, and HUD.

MicroLED is an advanced display technology that offers numerous benefits over traditional LED and OLED displays. LG’s acquisition of these patents reflects its commitment to enhancing the profitability of MicroLED production. The company is already in the process of constructing a small production line to supply Apple with microLED displays for future Apple Watch models. The facility is set to open in the second half of 2024 and will provide microLED backplanes and assemble Apple’s displays.

The Challenges of MicroLED Technology

One of the most challenging aspects of MicroLED technology is the transfer printing process. This process involves accurately placing extremely small chips, ranging from a few micrometers (μm) to several dozen nanometers in size, into their correct positions. The small size of these chips makes execution difficult, and the low yield during the transcription process often leads to the need for a repair process to replace defective microLEDs. These challenges ultimately contribute to higher production costs.

Delayed Launch and Manufacturing Challenges

While the arrival of the Apple Watch Ultra with a MicroLED display has been highly anticipated, its launch has faced delays due to manufacturing challenges. Display analyst Ross Young initially suggested that the device would launch in the second half of 2025 at the earliest, as opposed to late 2024 as previously rumored. However, a July report by Trendforce indicates that the launch has been postponed for a second time and is unlikely to occur before the first quarter of 2026. The main reason behind the delay is the need to address high manufacturing costs to ensure mass production feasibility.

Advantages of MicroLED Displays

The current Apple Watch Ultra model utilizes standard OLED technology, but the upcoming version is expected to feature MicroLED display technology. MicroLED not only offers many of the benefits of OLED but also brings some notable improvements. Compared to LED displays, MicroLED is significantly more energy-efficient, potentially leading to a notable increase in battery life for the Apple Watch Ultra and other devices that adopt the technology in the future. Unlike OLED, MicroLED displays have much less risk of screen burn-in and boast a longer potential lifetime.

Furthermore, MicroLED displays provide enhanced contrast and faster response times due to the pixel-level individual lighting. The color reproduction is also superior and brighter compared to previous technologies. In summary, MicroLED is a next-generation technology that surpasses the capabilities of OLED and miniLED displays.

Apple’s Future Adoption of MicroLED

The Apple Watch Ultra is poised to be the first Apple device to adopt a MicroLED display, largely due to the small screen size and pixel density of smartwatches. However, Apple has plans to incorporate this cutting-edge technology into other devices as well, including smartphones and augmented reality (AR) devices. The acquisition of these MicroLED patents by LG represents a significant step forward in the development and widespread implementation of this state-of-the-art display technology.

In conclusion, LG’s acquisition of patented technologies in MicroLED and its commitment to improving profitability highlight the company’s dedication to delivering the best display technology to Apple and consumers alike. The future Apple Watch Ultra with its MicroLED display is eagerly awaited as it brings advancements in energy efficiency, color reproduction, durability, and overall display quality. As LG continues to forge the path in MicroLED production, we can expect to see this next-generation technology revolutionize the way we experience visuals on various devices.