According to the latest story by Digitimes, Apple will reportedly be moving away from OLED screen technology for Apple Watch … at the same time as the iPhone 8 (for 2017, iPhone 7 will continue to use LCD) adopts OLED. The supply chain source says Apple is instead developing Micro LED panels for Apple Watch, to debut in late 2017.
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It’s unclear why Apple would move away from OLED on its wearables whilst simultaneously ramping production for its flagship iPhones. As always, consider any Digitimes report with some skepticism as its track record of accuracy is mixed.
Micro LED is a low power display technology with better color gamuts and brightness levels than LCD. Micro LED screens are more battery efficient than LCD equivalents because they do not require a backlight (this also allows them to be thinner).
That being said, Micro LED panels are also more expensive to produce than OLED at present. Apple quietly acquired LuxVue Technology in 2014 which specialized in Micro LED development. Two years later, it seems Apple is serious about using the components in shipping products.