By processors: is Apple working on micro-LED displays?

In the summer of 2020, Apple made a potentially groundbreaking decision: instead of using third-party processors, the company gradually switched to its own chips. From then on, MacBooks no longer worked with Intel processors, but used Apple’s M1 chip (M2 chips were added later), which provided a decent speed boost for the MacBook Pro, for example. Now Apple is apparently taking the next hardware component into its own hands. As US journalist and Apple expert Mark Gurman claims in a report by “Bloomberg”, the company from Cupertino (California, USA) has been working on its own micro-LED panels for some time.

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First for the Apple Watch

According to Gurman, Apple has invested a good five years in the development of its own micro-LED panels, and the Apple analyst expects correspondingly equipped devices as early as 2024. The Apple display should therefore debut with the Apple Watch, which currently uses an OLED display. In a Micro LED panel, each pixel consists of three tiny, glowing iodes. This enables outstanding image quality with high contrasts, the response time of such panels is said to be particularly short. At the same time, however, it is considered difficult and expensive to mass produce micro-LED panels – especially in such a small format as the Apple Watch requires.

Micro-LED iPhone still pie in the sky

An Apple Watch with a micro-LED display would be a real work of art. In addition to the smart watch, Apple should also use its panels on the iPhone and other devices in the future. According to Gurman, however, it will still be a few years before that happens. So far, the tech giant has used suppliers such as LG, Samsung or BOE when it comes to screens. Should the US group actually work on its own micro-LED panels, these should ultimately be manufactured by third parties – similar to the chips developed in-house. The in-house processors are mainly produced in the works of the Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC.

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