Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 this year, but also the latest Apple Watch in the series. The company will be implementing the same OLED display on the upcoming version as on its predecessor. However, it seems that the 2017 Apple Watch will be getting more power-efficient micro-LED panels.

According to a report by DigiTimes, Apple could be replacing OLED displays in the Apple Watch with some more efficient micro-LED panels. They could come as early as the second half of 2017. The report also mentioned that Apple has set up a laboratory for micro-LED research and development in Taiwan in April last year.

The report also mentions that Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue in May 2014. Apple currently relies on third-party vendors when it comes to displays for its devices, although some of these vendors, like Samsung are direct competitors on the smartphone market.

Micro-LED panels are currently more expensive than OLED panels

Currently, the production of micro-LED panels is more expensive than OLED panels, considering that its size varies from one micron to 100 microns. OLED panels are more expensive than LCD displays and Apple uses LCD in most of its products, including the iPhone, iPad and even MacBooks.

Apple’s Watch currently comes with OLED displays, which are useful when it comes to battery life, because they help extend it.

Micro-LED is a low-power display technology with improved color brightness levels compared to LCD. They also come with improved battery efficiency, mostly because they do not require a backlight. This also means that micro-LED panels are thinner.

Although Apple’s move is based solely on rumors, the transition to micro-LED panels on Apple Watch could still happen, considering that next year’s iPhone 7 is also expected to come with an improved design in order to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Another reason why some improvements are needed regards the fact that Apple’s Watch currently holds the third spot in the weaables market.

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