Trade Resources Industry Views Apple Watch Series 3 Tipped to Arrive with New Display Technology

Apple Watch Series 3 Tipped to Arrive with New Display Technology

Apple is expected to launch the Apple Watch series 3 either late this year or early in 2018, and it seems the device could come packing new display technology.

A new report from Business Korea claims Apple is working on producing its own micro-LED tech – something it's reportedly been working on with LuxVue, a firm acquired by Apple in 2014, for two years.

The technology is expected to replace OLED displays in the Apple Watch, and, according to a recent patent filing, could allow for in-display fingerprint scanning when combined with infrared diodes.

As such, according to the report, Apple could eventually move to use the technology on its iPhones, which makes sense following reports that the company is having trouble developing an in-display Touch ID component for the iPhone 8.

Samsung Display and LG Display, two of the companies that currently supply panels for Apple's phones, with the latter also supplying screens for the Apple Watch, are set to be significantly affected if that turns out to be the case.

The report claims micro-LED panels are thinner and lighter than OLED technology, though at this point, Apple is not at a stage where it can develop large enough panels to use in iPhones.

Micro-LED tech could also make its way onto future iPhones

Micro-LED, also known as microscale LEDs or μ-ILEDs, gained some attention in the summer of 2015, though at this point the technology remains somewhat mysterious.

Other than those that have worked on its development, very few know much about how it works. But as AppleInsider reports, Ken Werner of Display Daily previously called it "the only potentially disruptive technology" in an industry trade show.

Back in January, China’s Economic Daily News reported that Apple was eyeing a third quarter 2017 launch for the Apple Watch 3, but that remains unconfirmed at this point.

Business Korea's new report also claims Apple is likely to switch display suppliers for iPhones from Samsung to a Chinese firm, with both Samsung and LG said to be concerned Apple will start using RAM and cameras from other companies, too.

News of micro-LED tech going into production follows Apple's move to start developing its own graphics chip, after parting ways with British chip-maker Imagination Technologies, which makes GPUs for the iPhone range.

The company is also said to be working on developing its own battery power-saving technology, and already makes its own CPUs which are currently in use in iPhone and iPad models.

Developing its own screen tech would allow the company to become even more independent, not relying on components from the likes of LG and Samsung in the future.

At this point, it remains unconfirmed whether micro-LED tech will indeed make it into the next Apple Watch, but stay tuned for more in the coming months.

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