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

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

But since the report also notes that Apple will likely have to outsource the actual manufacturing of its screens, the result may not be too different to what happens today, where companies like Samsung and LG Display produce LCD and OLED panels to Apple's designs and specifications.

According to DigiTimes, Apple is going to procure 110 - 130 million OLED screens, of which 70 - 80 million will be 5.9-inch units for the current iPhone X and its sequel of the same size. The company is reportedly designing and producing its own displays in a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters.

Apple's "secret" project is not only about ultimately cutting reliance on collaborators like Samsung, but also leading the way in MicroLED breakthroughs, with the technology seen as the next step in brightness, clarity, thinness and energy efficiency. The company is making a massive investment in the development of the next-gen MicroLED screens.

However, it may change in the future with reports saying that Apple has a secret facility in California that is now working on MicroLED displays.

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Apple has about 300 engineers working now for developing microLED screens and, of course, it will not produce its own screens if the technology is good enough to be implemented in commercial products. Back then, rumors had it that Apple will use MicroLED in its then-upcoming Watch, but the company ended up using an OLED screen. Apple is reportedly interested in a much smaller MicroLED screen: the company is expected to roll out the new screens first in the Apple Watch. According to Bloomberg, the facility even has a special area for the intricate process of "growing" LEDs. In 2014, it acquired power efficient LED start-up LuxVue to drive research in the area.

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.

Apple already makes its own smartphone chips, such as its latest processor the A11 Bionic, which powers the mighty iPhone X.

And in 2017, rumours began circulating that Apple would use MicroLED in the Apple Watch. The move could be especially important on the iPhone, where Apple spends billions on displays. Another report from Nikkei a year ago suggested that the firm was working on developing microLED tech for its Apple Watch at a facility in Taiwan.

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