Apple Inc. Developing Its Own MicroLED displays for Mobile Devices

Apple Inc. Developing Its Own MicroLED displays for Mobile Devices

Kenneth Drake
March 20, 2018

Apple is apparently designing and preparing to manufacture its own range of MicroLED screens at a secret facility in California.

Apple's ambition is to make in-house displays just like they have produced their own in-house chipset for the past several years.

Any would-be Apple designed MicroLED displays aren't going to be available this year, however. In addition for enabling brighter panels and being more power-efficient than OLED, MicroLED will also give device makers the flexibility to deliver thinner and differently shaped products.

As Apple successfully manufactured a MicroLED screen for a future Apple Watch a year ago, wearables looks to be where the technology will first take off.

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MicroLED displays are much more hard to produce than OLED displays and it could be a few years before they are used in Apple products, like the Apple Watch and iPhone, Bloomberg said. We may see the same situation here, with MicroLED first rolling out on a future Apple Watch and later spreading to iPhone. It bought the startup LuxVue in 2014, and there have been many subsequent reports on how the purchase might be put to use. It is being said that Apple will concentrate on the MicroLED project closer to the Headquarters at their Santa Clara facility in California. Initially, it was presumed that Apple will introduce the first MicroLED screens into the Apple Watch, but that has yet to happen. Shares in Sharp Corp, Japan Display Inc and LG Display Co Ltd ended the day between 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent lower. By developing its own panels, Apple can cut its competitors out of that equation and produce its own screens.

Creating MicroLED screens is extraordinarily complex.

In this case, MicroLEDs are an attractive choice due to the technology allowing for displays brighter than OLEDs can manage. Apparently, it's been working with a manufacturing company in Taiwan to research these screens. The displays from LG are expected to feature in this year's "iPhone X Plus" device.

Apple may be trying to bring some of its screen production in-house, according to a report from Bloomberg. Each has three sub-pixels: red, green and blue LEDs.