A few makers engaged in R&D for micro LED display products, despite many technological bottlenecks, are expected to take the initiative to begin trial production in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, according to industry sources.
Apple is said to have been 'keen' in the development of micro LED technology following the acquisition of LuxVue in 2014. The company is purportedly planning to make a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year.
Notably, Apple assembler Foxconn has recently announced plans to acquire eLux for US$27.03 million in cash.
Sharp will invest US$7 million to take a 31.82% stake in eLux, while three other Foxconn subsidiaries CyberNet Venture Capital, panel maker Innolux and LED packaging service provider Advanced Optoelectronic Technology (AOT) will also take a 45.45%, 13.64% and 9.09% stake, respectively, in eLux.
The acquisition could be a way for Foxconn to commercialize micro-LED technology for supply to Apple.
Micro LED could first be used in the Apple Watch where they would replace OLED. mLED displays are easier to read than OLED displays in direct sunlight and they use significantly less energy than LCD.