The Apple Watch is still months away but information is continuing to trickle out about its capabilities and technical components which point towards continued innovation and high quality design. The display design uses a plastic AMOLED design that is lighter, thinner, higher quality, but cost several times more than the standard glass LED displays.

Analysis of the watch is provided by displaysearch.com and their breakdown estimates that the total display costs are $27.41 which is higher than other screen technology but with several key benefits:
“Although production costs are higher, the benefits of adopting a plastic AMOLED panel include a display module that is approximately 65 percent thinner and lighter than an LCD display and 50 percent thinner and lighter than a conventional AMOLED display. ‘The plastic AMOLED offers design flexibility and is very rugged,’ said Charles Annis, vice president of manufacturing research at NPD DisplaySearch.”

It will be interesting to see which other wearable device developers begin to use a similar display but I imagine only the companies that are dedicated to the highest quality practices will invest additional money and resources in this display. The good news is that the costs will start to come down, mostly due to the number of Apple Watches that will be sold in the coming moths and years.
“While current costs for the flexible AMOLED display are high, costs are forecast to decline as yield rates improve,” Annis said. “Simplified and new process flows, declining material costs, and increased production volumes will also contribute to lowering prices. Apple’s choice of a plastic AMOLED as the display medium for its Watch reflects not only on its strategy of emphasizing quality, but also suggests increasing confidence in flexible displays as an enabling technology for wearable computers.”
It is exciting to see new devices being released and exploring the ways that Apple is solving issues related to creating smaller and smaller technology. It seems like it wont be long now before we all have flying cars and computer brain implants. Bring it on.

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