Industry Expert claims that microLED Display shipments are set to explode by 2027 with Apple Watch Ultra being one of the Drivers
MicroLED displays are sure getting a lot of attention this year. On March 03, 2023 Patently Apple posted a patent report titled "An Apple micro-LED Display patent describes integrating features such as Fingerprint & Health Sensing, Water Tolerant Touch & more." Then in late April we posted a report titled "Will Apple launch an Apple Watch Ultra with a MicroLED Display in 2024 or 2025?" That report also covered a newly created microLED dream team formed in Taiwan led by Apple supplier AUO.
A new supply chain report this morning states that MicroLED display shipments are expected to grow rapidly in 2025. 2025 is the year Apple is expected to apply microLED for the first time to the top lineup model of the Apple Watch. Micro LED TVs are expected to remain a niche product for years to come.
DSCC, a market research firm, predicted on the 24th that micro LED display shipments would increase from 450,000 units in 2023 to 1.81 million units in 2024, 7.98 million units in 2025, 13.54 million units in 2026, and 17.47 million units in 2027. Sales over the same period are expected to grow to $44 million in 2023, $210 million in 2024, $713 million in 2025, $1.086 billion in 2026, and $1.395 billion in 2027.
The year in which microLED display shipments and sales projections jump significantly compared to the previous year is 2025. In 2025, shipments and sales are expected to increase by 4.4 times and 3.4 times, respectively, compared to the previous year.
In 2025, Apple is expected to apply microLED for the first time to the top lineup of the Apple Watch. Earlier this year, there were reports through foreign media that Apple could apply micro LED to the Apple Watch as early as 2024, but there were also observations that 2024 was too early in the domestic industry.
DSCC predicted today in Taiwan's display conference that LG Display is building a small-scale backplane line for the Micro LED Apple Watch, but that the line will only be operational in the second half of 2024. The expected release date of the Micro LED Apple Watch is also 2025.
MicroLED wearable products, including the Apple Watch, are expected to reach 7.9 million units in 2026 and 10.5 million units in 2027, starting with shipments of 4.2 million units in 2025. In micro LED display shipments, wearable products are expected to take the top spot from 2025.
Apple has released a 1.99-inch Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) Apple Watch Ultra model for $799 as the top-of-the-line Apple Watch lineup in 2022. The battery life of this product is 60 hours. Apple is expected to change the display of the Apple Watch Ultra model from OLED to microLED. However, compared to the current price of OLED for the Apple Watch Ultra, which is less than $40, micro LED must secure economic feasibility.
The Elec lastly reports that MicroLED shipments for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are also expected to continue to increase. The forecast for shipments by year is 450,000 units in 2023, 1.79 million units in 2023, 3.72 million units in 2025, 5.53 million units in 2026, and 6.8 million units in 2027.