Apple is making custom displays in-house, starting with MicroLED for the Apple Watch Ultra in 2024

Beginning in 2024, Apple plans to use custom displays it develops internally for mobile devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch, reports Bloomberg. The move to proprietary displays will allow Apple to rely less on display partners like Samsung and LG.

Apple’s transition begins with the high-end Apple Watch Ultra in late 2024, with the device adopting microLED display technology. After introducing microLED displays in the Apple Watch, Apple will extend them to the “iPhone” and other devices. The displays will likely be made by an outside supplier but designed by Apple.

After Bloomberg, Apple is making “extensive efforts” to make more of its own components for iPhones, iPads and Macs so it doesn’t have to work with as many third-party component suppliers. Apple is now developing its own A-series and M-series chips for iPhones, iPads and Macs, and is also working on modem chips and other wireless chips that will allow it to end its ties with suppliers like Qualcomm and Broadcom.

Apple is already testing microLED displays for the Apple Watch, and the technology will bring brighter, more vivid colors and improved viewing angles. Bloomberg says the displays “make content appear as if it’s painted on the glass”.

The company originally planned to switch to microLED displays as early as 2020, but there were technical challenges to overcome. Apple also planned to use microLEDs for larger displays, but initially opted for the Apple Watch for cost reasons. Apple has spent billions of dollars developing display technology, and the transition is considered one of Apple’s “most critical projects.”

Bloomberg warns that the 2024 target date could potentially be pushed back to 2025, or limited supply of the new devices could be offered initially if production difficulties persist. There will be an Apple Watch refresh in 2023, but with few new features.

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