Is Apple developing its own MicroLED screen technology for a future iPhone?


Credit: Tom's GuideThe company is working out of a nondescript building in California to produce its own displays, Bloomberg is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. These MicroLED screens are more hard to manufacture than OLED displays.

It's likely that Tim Cook's crew are planning to figure out how to produce gadgets with MicroLED panels, then will turn to larger manufacturers to crank out finalised screens at quite a lick for future devices.

The report also added that Apple almost killed the project a year or so ago, but since then engineers have been working on it with constant progress every now and then. The 62,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is very near to the Apple Park campus in Cupertino.

The news caused share prices of Apple's display supply partners to crash on global markets, Bloomberg reported. In 2014, it acquired power efficient LED start-up LuxVue to drive research in the area.

Since battery technology does not seem to step up, it is up to companies like Apple to find out new ways and techniques through the use of other components to conserve battery life even further. The report points out that this technology will take at least, four to five years to make an appearance on the iPhone. The decision to scale back efforts in Taiwan makes sense now as the company wanted to move the development process closer to its headquarters.

Meanwhile, the rumor mills have been ablaze with the possibility that Apple has already tested the MicroLED prototype in its watch model.

At the moment, the iPhone X is Apple's first phone which uses an OLED display.

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Apple is expected to start producing also its own iPhone chips.

Apple's push to make its own display technology in-house is in no way guaranteed, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

For future devices, Apple may stop relying on outside suppliers for its displays.

Apple's desire to expand its supply chain beyond Samsung has been extensively rumored, with Apple reportedly spending billions of dollars to help LG get its own OLED production up to speed and LG displays rumored to be making their way into this year's "iPhone X Plus" device.

Shares in three Asian display makers fell after publication of the report.

Currently, the smartphone makers use off-the-shelf display technology, but they customize the screens to meet their specifications. Apple has been tweaking their screens of iPhones for 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.