Apple is secretly making its own MicroLED screens

Mar 20, 2018, 04:12
Apple is secretly making its own MicroLED screens

In 2017, Dialog Semiconductor, which is also an Apple supplier, admitted that the iPhone maker could make its own power chips. A report from Bloomberg claims Apple has several hundred engineers developing new microLED displays. MicroLED screens use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED display.

Also, the Cupertino-based company hopes to be able to deploy the first microLED screens in Apple Watch gadgets over the next 3 years, while the iPhone could take advantage of the new technology of screens in five years from now.

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Apple now uses screens manufactured by companies including Samsung Electronics, Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display. The iPhone X is the first smartphone from Apple to feature an OLED display and Samsung is the only manufacturer that could supply the displays in the volume that the company requires while adhering to its quality standards.

These screens are said to be far more complex to produce compared to the LED displays, and Apple nearly shut down the project a year ago. This is perhaps the latest example of Apple to bring in the design of key components.

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The iPhone maker is developing next-generation MicroLED screens at a secret plant in California and has made a huge investment for this, according to the report. Although for now, the company is making only small numbers of screens, which will be used for testing purposes, as per a new report from Bloomberg. LG Display (LPL) stock was down 1.1%, near 12.90, on Monday. The current plan would involve rolling microLED technology out to the Apple Watch first. Apple acquired MicroLED firm LuxVue back in 2014 in order to gain an upper hand in the MicroLED technology. Executives recently permitted continued development overcoming 2 years, with an aim of installing MicroLED screens in products. "But Apple could own MicroLED", said Ray Soneira, DisplayMate Technologies. That means there's still money in selling Apple LED and OLED displays-at least for now. Each has three sub-pixels: red, green and blue LEDs.

Apple's microLED research facility.

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Bloomberg discovered the facility in Santa Clara.