In a tweet, Young explained that LG Display is constructing a small production line to supply Apple with microLED displays destined for an Apple Watch model due to launch in 2025. The facility will reportedly supply microLED backplanes and assemble Apple’s displays, opening in the second half of 2024. Earlier this week, Young said that Apple will introduce an Apple Watch with a microLED display in spring 2025.
We published in our November Capex Report that LGD is building a small line for microLED backplanes for the Apple Watch. It doesn't start production till 2H'24. It is this small line that will likely assemble microLEDs from Apple for '25 launch. Apple won't do the full process.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) January 13, 2023
Bloomberg says Apple is making a “sweeping effort” to make more of its own components for its devices, meaning Apple will not need to deal with as many third-party component makers. Apple currently creates its own A-series and M-series chips for iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and it is also working on modem chips and other wireless chips.
microLED displays for the Apple Watch, which is currently being tested by Apple, will bring brighter and more vibrant colors, along with improved viewing angles. Bloomberg says the displays “make content appear like it’s painted on top of the glass.”
Apple’s first device to benefit from the move will likely be the Apple Watch Ultra at the end of 2024. That device is expected to sport microLED display technology, with the iPhone and other devices making the move to Apple-produced displays. This will allow Apple to lessen its dependency on current display partners, which include Samsung and LG. According to Young, Apple will continue to depend on such partners to some extent. “Apple won’t do the full process,” he added.
Apple has long planned to use microLED for larger displays, but for cost reasons, decided to focus first on the Apple Watch.