Samsung has reportedly begun work on MicroLED displays for smartwatches. The company plans to complete the development of the new smartwatch display solutions this year, Korean publication ETNews reports. It currently only makes OLED screens for smartwatches. MicroLED screens can only be found on its high-end TVs.
Next-gen Samsung smartwatches may feature MicroLED displays
According to the new report, Samsung Display has formed a new team to work on MicroLED solutions for smartwatches. Perhaps the new team could be responsible for making MicroLED displays for all kinds of mobile devices. The Korean media reported in October last year that the company prefers MicroLED panels over OLED solutions for AR (augmented reality) headsets.
MicroLED has plenty of advantages over OLED. These screens are brighter and boast a better contrast ratio. They are also better at color reproduction and offer greater visibility under direct sunlight. Moreover, they consume significantly less power than OLED solutions, allowing the device to run longer on a single charge. They work efficiently across a wide range of temperatures as well. These properties make MicroLED a preferable display solution for mobile devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and AR headsets.
However, producing high-resolution MicroLED displays is a difficult task. They are also more expensive than OLEDs. But, Samsung seems to have figured out a way to efficiently produce MicroLED displays for smartwatches. The company has reportedly set a goal to get the technology out of its R&D (research and development) offices this year and make it available commercially as soon as possible. We may see MicroLED displays on its 2024 smartwatches if not on the Galaxy Watch 6 series this year.
It’s worth mentioning here that MicroLED displays found on Samsung’s high-end TVs are manufactured by Samsung Electronics, not Samsung Display. These are two separate business divisions of the South Korean conglomerate. They operate independently of each other and have a buy-sell relationship. This is the first time Samsung Display is making MicroLED solutions. And, it is starting with smartwatches rather than bigger panels.
Samsung Display may not want to lose its business from Apple
The news of Samsung making MicroLED displays for smartwatches comes shortly after reports that Apple is planning to switch to MicroLED for its future smartwatches. Since Apple sourced its OLED needs from the Korean behemoth, this would mean a massive loss of business for the latter. After all, the iPhone maker is the global leader in the smartwatch market, accounting for about 30 percent of all wrist wearables sold every year. It remains to be seen if Samsung Display makes its smartwatch MicroLED solutions ready in time for Apple’s planned switch from OLED, which may happen next year.
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