The likelihood that the Apple Watch will start using cutting-edge display technology in 2025 is growing. Ross Young, a reputable expert, claims that LG has begun constructing a modest micro-LED display manufacturing line in anticipation of Apple switching from OLED to micro-LED panels. This is relevant to Apple’s intentions to begin producing its internal screens for the iPhone and Apple Watch.
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
Young’s article today comes after one from Bloomberg earlier this week. According to Mark Gurman’s explanation in that article, Apple will start creating its displays for devices like the Apple Watch and iPhone, eliminating its dependency on suppliers like Samsung and LG. However, Bloomberg observed that Apple would continue to depend on such businesses for bulk manufacturing.
Young’s updated assessment from today essentially supports what was previously stated this week. When it switches display technology, Apple “won’t perform the entire process,” the expert argues. Young claims that Apple would collaborate closely with LG on the micro-LED display that is anticipated to be utilized for the first time in the Apple Watch Ultra.
The “building of a small line” for micro-LED display backplanes for the Apple Watch is now being done by LG. “It is this small line that will likely assemble micro-LEDs from Apple,” Young explains. He claims that the first Apple Watch with micro-LED would debut in 2025 and that manufacturing won’t likely begin until the second half of 2024.
Apple Intends to Develop in-house Screens with the Help of its Suppliers
This week, the same general message has been conveyed in both reports. Starting with the Apple Watch and ultimately expanding to the iPhone and other mobile devices, Apple will begin creating its screens. At the moment, the business only uses screens made by manufacturers like Samsung and LG.
This sounds a lot like how Apple and TSMC collaborate on the Apple Silicon processors that are used in all of its devices. Apple creates the chips itself but collaborates closely with TSMC on manufacturing and production. Apple also makes significant investments in TSMC to assist the firm in modernizing its plants to accommodate cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.
Apple will be able to drastically lessen its dependency on Samsung and LG even if it can’t get rid of them. However, as Young and Bloomberg both note, it will be a difficult process, and the first fruits of Apple’s labor may not be seen until 2025.