Apple reportedly investing in MicroLED screen production


The difference will be that the company will have a bigger say in development and the manufacturing process, instead of purchasing technology from companies like Samsung and tweaking the display for color calibration and accuracy.

Apple is making "a significant investment" in developing the screens in a manufacturing facility close to its new Californian headquarters.

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The secret screen-manufacturing development marks the latest move by the Cupertino tech giant in building now outsourced technology in-house. In 2014, it acquired power efficient LED start-up LuxVue to drive research in the area. Apple starting working on display technology that is not even mainstream might sound odd but it's great to see Apple finally entering the market as its known for making great strides with newer technologies and other companies usually follow. The current plan would involve rolling microLED technology out to the Apple Watch first. We could see Apple displays used in the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and maybe even MacBooks in the future, but there's one big problem: MicroLED is extremely hard to manufacture. At its headquarter in California, Apple has managed to produce promising display samples. For years now, Apple has been manufacturing its own processors for mobiles and for the most part, Apple A series of chips have outsmarted the chipsets from Qualcomm and MediaTek. Bloomberg claimed Apple has faced multiple difficulties in commercialising its designs. Recently Apple has been reported to spend billions of Dollars to help LG in creating an OLED production facility. Apple is still somewhere between three and five years out from bringing microLED to any of its devices. After the Bloomberg report, shares of several Apple suppliers dropped sharply in Asia Monday morning.

For LTPS panels, Apple will continue to seek supplies from Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display during the year. However, the screens are significantly brighter than current OLED screens. For instance, Apple calibrates iPhone screens to ensure color accuracy. Engineers are said to have produced fully functional Apple Watch-sized MicroLED screens at the facility, with a view to using the technology commercially for the first time in the watch.