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(Pocket-lint) - Micro LED displays have been rumoured as coming to various Apple devices but it's now suggested that the first major applications for the technology will be on smartwatches. And namely, therefore, the Apple Watch. 

Now, this is set to be some time away with dates of 2023 or 2024 mentioned. That would put it inside the Apple Watch Series 9 or 10 if Apple's smartwatch continues to follow its current release date schedule. 

The latest rumours come courtesy of Epistar chairman Lee Biing-jye who was reported by Digitimes as saying volume adoption in smartwatches is likely to take place 3-4 years from now. Lee also suggested it would be slightly longer - 4 to 5 years - before micro LED sees mass adoption in the TV market. Lee is reported as saying "There are smartwatch vendors showing interest in adopting micro LED displays". 

He also added that a smartwatch screen resolution of about 300 x 300 is equivalent to 300,000 micro LED chips so it woiuld be even higher for something like the Series 5's 448 x 368 display. 

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The main barrier to adoption is the micro LED manufacturing process, which is complicated - glass substrates are used which need a lot of testing. Lee says that Epistar has been working to develop this technology. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 11 August 2020.