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Apple Secretly Designing Own MicroLED Displays For Future Devices

20 March 2018

Bloomberg reports that Apple has already started to design and produce its own displays for the first time, using a "secret" manufacturing plant that's been built close to its headquarters in California. Apple already started making its own chips, now it's attempting to make displays.

The people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the screens are so much hard to manufacture in comparison to OLED screens. MicroLED technology utilize different light emitting compounds as compared to current OLED displays.

In Apple's case, perfecting MicroLED screen production would remove the need to rely on companies including Samsung, Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display. Samsung is expected to make billions of dollars supplying OLED panels for Apple's new flagship and while reports have suggested that the company is having to cut production as Apple has reduced orders, it's going to make a pretty penny nonetheless.

APPLE IS REPORTEDLY DESIGNING MicroLED displays for the Apple Watch, aiming to plonk slimmer, brighter and more power-efficient screens into the smartwatch. Last year Apple chose to sideline the project. Apple inherited the intellectual property for that process when it purchased startup LuxVue in 2014.

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The tech giant has been making significant investments in developing the technology at a secret manufacturing facility in Cupertino, where the company is headquartered, anonymous sources told Bloomberg yesterday. These displays can be aimed at low-powered devices such as smartphones and wearables. microLEDs offer higher brightness, lower power consumption and longer lifespans than that of traditional OLED displays.

The Apple Watch will most likely, be the first device to get the new screen. For instance, LG Display shares tanked by 0.89 percent while that of the Sharp declined further by 2.57 percent. The goal: to eventually design screens in-house.

MicroLED is a type of emissive display technology that's similar to OLED in several ways. Apple is trying to recruit other manufacturers apart from Samsung to help create the iPhone components. Each pixel has sub-pixels such as red, blue and green. Their report says that about 300 engineers are employed in the 62,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, Calif.

Apple Secretly Designing Own MicroLED Displays For Future Devices