The company is making a heavy investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens.
MicroLED is a type of emissive display technology that’s similar to OLED in several ways. The California-based company could also ultimately outsource production altogether, while continuing to develop the technology. Currently, Apple relies on third-party manufacturers to source screens for its devices.
It is not the first time reports have surfaced of Apple’s interest in MicroLED technology. Apple inherited the intellectual property for that process when it purchased startup LuxVue in 2014.
Apple had reportedly been working on MicroLED display technology at an R&D center in Taiwan, but late previous year the company was reported to have scaled back its efforts at that center. The displays are now in an advanced phase, although consumers will still have to hold their horses for a couple of years more ahead of witnessing it. Another report from Nikkei past year suggested that the firm was working on developing microLED tech for its Apple Watch at a facility in Taiwan. The screens are notably brighter than the current OLED Watch displays, and engineers have a finer level of control over individual colors, according to a person who has seen them.
Producing its own display is the latest effort from Apple to bring more components in-house.
Apple already designs its own chips.
Bloomberg further reports that Apple’s plans are still nascent at this stage.
LG was just recently reported to be going back to LCDs to save costs, but Apple has a two-pronged solution. An additional 40-50 million 6.5-inch OLED panels will be procured by Apple for the production of a less expensive iPhone model.
According to the report, MicroLED is hard to produce and Apple itself has been facing problems. Race to commercialise next-gen displays Since this is the first time Apple’s producing its own displays, technical troubles are to be expected during development.
Shares in three Asian display makers fell after publication of the report. The drop of shares in Japan Display is 4.4 percent, Sharp drop by 3.3 percent and Samsung by 1.4 percent. The MicroLED screens, though, offer similar advantages – such as slimmer screens and lower power consumption than liquid-crystal display, or LCD screens.