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The Apple Watch could be about to get thinner and brighter thanks to a screen overhaul

Apple is believed to be looking to bring MicroLED screens to future Apple Watch models – and the technology could come to the wearable device as early as 2020.

Apple is reportedly in discussions with Taiwanese display manufacturers to create MicroLED displays for its 2020 Apple Watch. The Apple Watch currently uses OLED displays created by LG Display.

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According to the Economic Daily News, sources with knowledge of Apple’s supply chain have confirmed the plans. And DigiTimes previously reported that Apple will work with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to develop these MicroLED displays.

However, it’s not clear if the switch to MicroLED will be sorted in time for the technology to make it onto the Apple Watch 5.

A nine-month lead time is reportedly required for the mass production of the displays – meaning any 2019 Apple Watch models would not get the new displays − unless they were already being made. Otherwise, it’s expected that the MicroLEDs will likely first appear on 2020 Apple Watch devices.

MicroLED displays use different light-emitting compounds to OLED displays – the switch should enable Apple to make slimmer, brighter and more energy-efficient iPhone and Apple Watch models.

A March report by Bloomberg stated Apple was secretly developing its own MicroLED displays at its California headquarters. No release date was reported for these displays. However, there is a vague four-year timespan for the displays to make it to the iPhone with Apple Watch devices expected to get the technology before that.

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Apple appears extremely keen to take the next step forward with the display technology used on its devices. In March, it was claimed Foxconn was developing MicroLED technology in order to win contracts with Apple. These reports also indicated the technology could be a couple of years away from becoming the norm for Apple – rather than appearing in 2019 or 2020.

While we might have next-generation display technology to look forward to on a future Apple Watch, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the current models. Earlier this month, Apple was required to disable the Watch’s Walkie Talkie feature following concerns about a security vulnerability.

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