Earlier this 12 months, we noticed a report that the Apple Watch Extremely may very well be getting a microLED display screen as quickly as subsequent 12 months. Now, a brand new report confirms that the premium Apple Watch is certainly destined to achieve high-performance show know-how, however it might not be coming as quickly as we hoped.
In March, DigiTimes revealed that Apple has been “actively growing” microLED know-how since 2014 when it acquired LuxVue, an organization that had already begun work on microLED know-how.
Since then, we’ve heard sporadic reviews of Apple’s work on microLED, together with information in 2020 that it had opened a brand new microLED plant in Taiwan. In every case, it appeared that the brand new screens have been slated to return to the Apple Watch, however to this point, they haven’t confirmed to be prepared for primetime.
Whereas DigiTimes recommended a microLED-equipped Apple Watch Extremely may arrive by late 2024, plainly its prediction might have been a bit on the optimistic aspect. In response to Korea’s TheElec, the manufacturing of microLED shows wasn’t slated to ramp up earlier than the second quarter (Q2) of 2025 at finest. Nevertheless, provide chain sources say it’s now been postponed till early 2026.
Assuming Apple sticks with its typical fall launch schedule, this delay would push the arrival of the microLED Apple Watch Extremely into September 2026. The earlier manufacturing schedule might have allowed for a September 2025 launch, however it’s unclear if that was ever within the playing cards.
Both manner, the expected timelines seem to have been too formidable. As The Elec notes, there are issues mass-production issues like excessive unreasonably excessive manufacturing prices that haven’t but been solved.
Whereas a few of that is probably merely as a result of limitations of the know-how, these value components even have a direct affect. On the same entrance, that’s probably the rationale that solely the costlier 12.9-inch iPad Professional boasts Apple’s extra spectacular Mini LED show know-how. New show applied sciences are all the time costly; it took years even for OLED to return to a value the place it’s now accessible to most customers.
It appears the identical could also be true of the Apple Watch, the place Apple will unveil the primary microLED on the premium Apple Watch Extremely. What’s much less sure is when it is going to come to the usual Apple Watch fashions. Apple might reserve microLED as a singular promoting level for the Extremely, because it’s accomplished with the 12.9-inch iPad Professional, however it appears that it’ll trickle right down to the remainder of the lineup in time, even when that point is just a few extra years away.
Apple additionally ultimately intends to deliver microLED show know-how to the iPhone, iPad, and even Mac. Nevertheless, The Elec notes that the rationale it’s beginning with the Apple Watch Extremely is solely that it’s simpler to do on smaller display screen sizes with decrease pixel densities. The Apple Watch Extremely has a 1.92-inch display screen with a pixel density of 338 pixels per inch (ppi), which is the candy spot for microLED placement.
Against this, higher-resolution screens just like the iPhone 14, which is available in at round 460ppi, require smaller microLEDs and driver chips that must be packed extra tightly collectively.
The Apple Watch would additionally probably profit extra from a transfer to microLED, which guarantees the type of decrease energy consumption that’s vital for a smaller wearable, plus a show that locations the content material a lot nearer to the floor, to the purpose the place it seems to be nearly prefer it’s painted on high of the glass. That is one thing Apple has been aiming at for years, with rumors a brand new lamination approach would come to the Collection 7 two years in the past. Nevertheless, like all the opposite rumors surrounding that mannequin, it didn’t come to go.
Though this implies we aren’t prone to see a microLED Apple Watch till at the very least 2026, there’s a great probability we’ll see an Apple Watch Extremely 2 this fall, which additionally hints that Apple might intend to maintain its extra premium mannequin on an annual replace cycle alongside its commonplace Apple Watch.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]