Apple still mixes different display options in its devices. Computers and monitors support IPS screens, some of which have Mini-LED backlighting, current smartphones mostly have OLED panels installed (the iPhone SE is still there when connected), the iPad is about to try OLED too…
The same goes for the “smart” Apple Watch which has used the OLED matrix from the very beginning. But there have been rumors for years that these watches might get micro-LED. Currently, the first model with a similar screen is planned to be the Apple Watch Ultra. But the release of the first such watch is again postponed.
According to a report by TrendForce, everyone who wants to try the Apple Watch with a micro-LED backlight needs to wait until at least the distant 2026:
Market research firm DSCC said it had predicted the mass production of its micro LED Apple Watch in May to 2025, and Trendforce said it had been pushed back from the second quarter of 2025 to the first quarter of 2026.
Apple plans to apply micro-LEDs to the top-end Ultra models in the Apple Watch series first, and then expand its applications.
Such delays are due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, as such a screen has many tiny parts. Apple has been developing these technologies since 2014, when it acquired LuxVue, which has since invested more than a billion dollars in displays.
But for now, Samsung remains the leader in the micro-LED “field”. Apple, in turn, is trying to coordinate production with other manufacturers to reduce the dependence from one supplier.