Apple reportedly reaches out to Samsung and LG regarding the supply of OLED microdisplays

According to a report from Korea, Apple has sent an RFI for both Samsung Display and LG Display, seeking more information about the two companies capabilities regarding the production of OLED microdisplays. It is speculated that Apple is seeking to change its OLED supplier in a future, lower-cost VR headset.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple specifically mentions a white OLED with color filters architectures (i.e. not a direct-patterned device), a panel size of 2 to 2.1 inch and a display density of around 1,700 PPI (which is rather low, Sony's 4K microdisplays used in the Apple Vision Pro for example offer a density of almost 3,400 PPI).


This is an unconfirmed, but interesting move by Apple. And if Apple plans to indeed update the Vision Pro or release a lower cost edition, it is not a surprising move. We already reported last year that Apple has reached out to potential suppliers asking for lower-cost displays, as Sony's high end microdisplays are quite pricey - some estimate Apple is paying $350 for each such panel. Sony's production capacity is quite limited, and it is understood that the company does not plan to increase its capacity.

Last year it was reported that Apple reached out to BOE and Seeya, both based in China. It interesting that now Apple is reaching out to Samsung and LG. BOE and Seeya already produce microdisplays, while Samsung and LG haven't reached mass production. It could be that Apple is worried about geopolitics and prefers not to be dependent on Chinese suppliers. Or it could be that the quality of Seeya's and BOE's displays is not high enough for Apple. It could also be that Apple is simply reaching out to the industry's most promising producers and is still interested in Seeya, BOE, and maybe others in China as well.

LGD 1.3" 10,000 nits 4K OLED microdisplay prototype

Both Samsung and LG seem to be accelerating their OLED microdisplay plans. Last month at Displayweek 2024, Samsung unveiled its latest OLED microdisplay, a 1.03" one that is based on an RGB (direct-emission) architecture, likely developed in collaboration with eMagin (which Samsung acquired last year). At the same tradeshow, LGD showed an impressive 10,000 nits 1.3" 4K (4,175 PPI) OLED microdisplay that uses new OLED materials and LG Display's micro lens array (MLA) to increase brightness by about 40% compared to LGD's previous generation microdisplays.

Posted: Jun 29,2024 by Ron Mertens