Apple is now exploring the integration of micro-lens technology to elevate the brilliance of OLED displays slated for its forthcoming iPhone 16 models, all while potentially trimming down power consumption.
This exciting development has surfaced in a report from The Elec, revealing that two prominent Apple display suppliers, Samsung and LG, are actively pitching the concept of incorporating micro-lens arrays (MLA) into OLED panels. However, this technology presents both advantages and drawbacks that Apple must carefully weigh.
MLA operates by carefully adding billions of identical lenses within the display panel, significantly decreasing internal reflections. These tiny lenses skilfully channel light that would otherwise reflect back from the panel’s inner workings towards the screen.
This innovative strategy offers two intriguing possibilities. First off, it can increase the display’s apparent brightness while consuming the same amount of power. Second, it might be able to maintain current brightness levels while using significantly less power than conventional OLED screens of comparable luminance.
However, putting MLA technology into practice is not without its difficulties. Although it efficiently increases frontal luminance, in some usage conditions, it can also decrease side luminance, which subsequently reduces the viewing angle of the display. Adopting MLA would also probably raise the cost of production.
Another complication is the gap in material sets made by Samsung and LG, both of which are said to fall short of Apple’s strict criteria. According to the report, Apple has yet to issue a final response to these Korean companies’ MLA application submission.
Another hurdle is the disparity in material sets made by Samsung and LG, both of which are said to fall short of Apple’s strict criteria. According to the report, Apple has yet to issue a final response to these Korean companies’ MLA proposals.
Apple’s decision is based on the possibility of improving OLED material efficiency before commercial production of the iPhone 16 begins in the second half of 2024. Adoption of MLA could be a game changer if developments lead to continuous or better front-facing light emission while reducing battery consumption and eliminating viewing angle constraints. However, this outcome is dependent on the performance of the OLED material set, which, as previously stated, varies across the two familiar panel providers.
In the wider tech landscape, the tech community is buzzing with anticipation following a May report hinting at Apple’s strategic pivot toward mass-producing advanced microLED displays. This shift signifies Apple’s endeavor to reduce reliance on external suppliers like Samsung and gain greater control over its supply chain. It aligns perfectly with Apple’s overarching goal of introducing next-generation microLED technology to future iPhone iterations, an evolution that tech enthusiasts are eagerly monitoring.