Apple Meets With Taiwanese MicroLED and MiniLED Manufacturers

Future iPhones and Apple Watches might be home to a new technology for Apple: MicroLED and MiniLED displays.

According to a new report from Taiwanese publication Economic News Daily (via MacRumors), a number of Apple representatives recently met with two Taiwan-based display makes to discuss both MiniLED and MicroLED technology, both of which could potentially be used in future Apple products.

Apple met with both Epistar and AU Optronics during this week’s Touch Taiwan display convention in the country’s capital of Taipei. Of the two aforementioned technologies, Apple is reportedly more interested in MicroLED, as MiniLED is generally considered more of a “transitional” technology.

“It is understood that Apple came to Taiwan to learn about AUO and Jingdian’s technology in MiniLED and MicroLED,” explains the report. “Since MiniLED is often regarded as a transitional product before the maturity of MicroLED technology, and has entered mass production, the industry believes that if Apple intends to cooperate with Taiwanese companies, the target may be placed on MicroLED products.”

If Apple does indeed add either of these companies to its supply chain, it would expand its display manufacturer base, as most of its LCD and OLED panels come from Japanese and Korean companies like Samsung, Sharp, and LG.

Apple has shown an interest in MicroLED technology for some time; in 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue Technology, a small California company that specializes in MicroLED-based displays for consumer electronics applications. Unlike traditional displays, MicroLED displays don’t require backlighting, while also offering an increased color range and higher resolution graphics.

“MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks given both have self-lit pixels, but they are even thinner, much brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels,” explains MacRumor‘s report.

Apple is also rumored to be working with supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) on MicroLED displays, explains the report.