APPLE IS REPORTEDLY DESIGNING MicroLED displays for the Apple Watch, aiming to plonk slimmer, brighter and more power-efficient screens into the smartwatch.
At least that's according to people familiar with Cupertino's workings, reported Bloomberg, who noted that the screens are being made at a secret facility near the firm's Cupertino headquarters.
Apparently, this is all being done under the codename T159 (snappy...) and is being headed up by long-time Apple engineer Lynn Yongs and a team of 300 technical boffins. Yongs worked on the displays for the original iPhone and iPad and is a keen submitter of display-related patents, so would seem like a shrewd choice to head up Apple's next-gen display tech.
MicroLED is set to be the next step in display tech and uses light-emitting compounds to provide a more efficient and slimmer, yet also brighter, displays than OLED panels.
And a small and light display is exactly the thing you want for a smartwatch, given many are still bulky and rather goofy looking devices at the moment.
Apple facility will be "the first of its kind" and will apparently measure in at 62,000 square feet, but will not be in a position to mass produce Apple Watch displays, which would suggest that Apple plans for MicroLED screens are in their early experimental stages. But it's Apple, so who can tell.
It's likely that Tim Cook's crew are planning to figure out how to produce gadgets with MicroLED panels, then will turn to larger manufacturers to crank out finalised screens at quite a lick for future devices.
One such supplier could end up being Samsung which is already working on MicroLED screens but on a larger scale with its 'The Wall' concept TV. That being said, if Apple is designing the screen in-house, it may go to another manufacturer that doesn't produce its biggest rival in the smartphone world.
Bloomberg reckons the presence of MicroLED screens in Apple devices is still a few years away, but when the technology arrives it will make its debut in the Apple Watch. We'd expect it to then transition over to the iPhone, iPad and then iMac range as the development pushes forward.
In the meantime, Apple fans have an education-themed event to look forward to on March 27, where we'd expect to see a few new iPads and a new MacBook or refreshed MacBook Air. µ
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