For the first time in the history, Apple is said to be designing and producing its own device displays in its small secret manufacturing plant located near Apple’s California headquarters. 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. Also, Apple is said to be making a significant investment in the next-generation MicroLED screens development. Apple could be looking at MicroLED screens because they use different components altogether, compared to the current OLED displays. Also, the MicroLED screens will make the upcoming gadgets slimmer, less power hungry delivering better performance. However, they are incredibly difficult to produce, especially when compared to OLED displays.
The report also added that Apple nearly killed the project a year or so ago, but since then engineers have been working on it with constant progress every now and then. That said, the project is now claimed to be in the advanced stage, however, consumers have to wait for a few more years to get their hands on the new tech.
Furthermore, this move from Apple will also hurt the competition real bad and even an example of how Apple wants to make key components in-house. 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.
Talking about the competition, this move will hurt the big players like Samsung, LG, Japan Display etc. as they manufactured displays for Apple in the past.
MicroLED technology will be very new to the smartphone market, and if Apple managed to adopt it ahead of others or at least in-line with others, it would be a huge deal for the brand. And the manufacturing of displays in-house will give full advantage to Apple. Also, MicroLED technology will be pretty much limited to Apple alone. “Everyone can buy an OLED or LCD screen,” he says. “But Apple could own MicroLED,” said Ray Soneira, DisplayMate Technologies.
However, the entire thing sounds like it’s happening very soon, but it’s indeed not that easy for Apple. By the time Apple leverages the new MicroLED technology, some new technology will pop up, and ultimately Apple has to sacrifice the project and depend on other major players for the displays.
Apple is paying a good amount to Samsung for supplying the OLED display to the iPhone X, while the company uses the LG-made panel for the Apple Watch. And once the project finalises, Apple requires a mass production for which a massive manufacturing plant will be required and the current small-plant located nearby its Cupertino campus is just 62,000-square-foot. Right now, Apple engineers at this small plant are assembling the prototype MicroLED screens.
Also, until Apple brings the new MicroLED screens, it will stick to the current OLED technology to power its smartphones. Although Apple carries displays from other companies, it calibrates the display accordingly.