While everyone is awaiting the iPhone 8 and its OLED screen, Apple is already looking at the next generation of display technology: microLED.

A new report claims that Apple will be making small volumes of microLED devices this year …

The claim is made by Digitimes, a site with a variable track-record.

Recent market speculations indicate that Apple is likely to crank out a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year.

Taiwan-based innovative startup PlayNitride, which was reportedly targeted by Samsung Electronics for possible acquisition, is expected to install a production line for trial production of micro LED products in the second half of 2017, the sources indicated.

It’s a rather thin claim, but the timing wouldn’t be unrealistic. Apple bought microLED company LuxVue back in 2014, and a report last year suggested that Apple might make the switch for the Apple Watch later this year. Watches are the first device category expected to make the switch to microLED.

Display panel maker Innolux later predicted that Apple would do the same with iPhones and iPads, though some analysts expect it to come to TVs before smartphones.

MicroLED is essentially a microscopic version of conventional LEDs, an array of which makes up each pixel. It is both brighter and more power-efficient than OLED, which is itself brighter and more power-efficient than the LCD displays used in current iPhones and iPads.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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