Apple's AR/VR headset could use microLED displays with Sony and LG involved

Apple Vr Ar Mixed Reality Headset
Apple Vr Ar Mixed Reality Headset (Image credit: LetsGoDigital and Concept Creator)

What you need to know

  • LG is reportedly working to get ready to provide microLED screens for a second-generation mixed reality headset.
  • Sony will reportedly provide the microLED panels for the first-generation device.
  • Apple is expected to announce its first headset next year.

Apple's oft-rumored mixed reality headset could make use of new microLED displays, according to a new report. That same report claims that LG Display is readying itself to produce parts for Apple's second-generation hardware and is set to place its own orders for the hardware required to do so. The first-gen offering will reportedly use Sony hardware.

Today's report comes via The Elec, with the outlet claiming that LG Display "is expected to order a deposition equipment to make MicroOLED from Sunic System." The move will allow LG Display to battle it out for the second version of the rumored headset — Apple has long been rumored to have designs on launching its mixed reality heasdet as soon as early next year, a timescale that would require that its component suppliers and assemblers have their ducks in a row already. To that end, the report notes that Sony is the one tasked with building microLED panels this time out.

Cupertino is expected to use Sony's MicroOLED panel for the screen on its first MR device while the outer screen, or an 'indicator', which will be a regular OLED panel, will be provided by LG Display. Apple's new device is expected to launch during the first half of next year.LG Display is aiming to supply the MicroOLED panel on the iPhone maker's follow-up to its MR device.

The microLED technology "mounts the OLED on a silicon substrate" whereas other methods involve using glass. For that reason, it's thought that microLED could be widely used in devices such as Apple's mixed reality headset. The use of microLED could allow for lower power usage and increased brightness, although the latter is unlikely to be a key requirement for a display that will be mounted so close to the users' eyes. The lower power requirements could be beneficial given reports that at least one of Apple's M1 chips will be included in the design.

This isn't the first time that we've heard of Apple's likely use of microLED technology in its headset — reports from a few months ago pointed to something similar.

Some rumors had Apple outing the headset during the WWDC22 event last week, but that didn't happen. It's now thought that the headset will see its debut in the first few months of 2023 with a price tag of at least $2,000.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.