For the first time, Apple will design and build screens for its own products, the Bloomberg news agency said.
The above information has just been confirmed by some sources close to Apple. Accordingly, Apple is operating a secret facility to test production of a small amount of MicroLED screens.
An unnamed source said, Apple has invested quite a lot in the development of the new generation MicroLED screen. This screen uses light-emitting components other than OLED, which makes the device thinner, brighter, and consumes less power.
The problem is that MicroLEDs are harder to produce than OLED screens. Apple almost halted this project a year ago to have more time to optimize the technology.
Apple’s ambitious move is the latest indication that it wants to do the important jobs on its own.
To date, Tim Cook’s company has designed its own chips for the mobile device. And obviously, Apple wants to take care of the design and manufacture of the display on its own.
That could hurt many major display manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, Japan Display, Sharp Corp, LG Display and both Synaptics (which makes chip-display interfaces) and Universal Display (which develops OLED technology). .
As soon as Bloomberg published the information, shares of many Asian screen manufacturers fell significantly. Japan Display fell 4.4%, Sharp fell 3.3% and Samsung fell 1.4%.
iPhone will dominate thanks to the new screen?
Controlling the MicroLED technology will help Apple reach further in the smartphone market, possibly knocking out its rival Samsung, which has a higher screen quality advantage.
This is considered a “golden opportunity” for Apple because anyone can buy an OLED or LCD screen, but only Apple has MicroLED.
Of course, things are not easy. Mass production of new monitors requires a new production line. Apple almost gave up on this project. Now they come back, the price will be more expensive.
Apple may outsource production of new screen technology. The aim is to mitigate conflicts of interest with display manufacturers.
For now, Apple mobile devices still use partner monitors. For example, Apple Watch uses LG Display’s screen, iPhone X uses Samsung OLED screen.
Apple’s project to produce screens stems from a secret initiative T159 approved by Lynn Youngs, an Apple executive.
Lynn Youngs is a major contributor to the development of touch screens for the original iPhone and iPad, and currently oversees the display technology of the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Apple’s secret screen production facility in California is 5,700 square meters wide, a 15-minute drive from Apple Park headquarters. There are about 300 engineers working here on the task of designing and manufacturing MicroLED screens for future Apple products.
Apple has a nearby facility that is responsible for switching from LED technology to MicroLED. In 2014, Apple acquired the LuxVue company that owns the copyright for this technology.
Earlier, Apple opened a display lab in Taiwan (China) for engineers to test a small amount of LCD screens on Apple’s new technology.
Some iPhone 7 models are being tested. Then, Apple leaders directly checked and agreed to let the team continue to implement the MicroLED project.
By the end of 2017, for the first time, Apple engineers could produce a fully functional MicroLED display. The Apple Watch will be the first device to use new screen technology in the next two years.
Meanwhile, the iPhone will need a longer roadmap, at least 3-5 years, a source close to Apple confirmed.
Although the iPhone is Apple’s main monetization tool, the Apple Watch is the “white mouse” testing new technology. The OLED screen appeared on the Apple Watch since 2014, and then three years later on the iPhone X.
For now, Apple still has to rely on OLED displays. New iPhone models released this year still use this screen. Apple is working with Samsung and LG to scale up OLED production.
* Source: zing News