20 March, 2018
The secret screen-manufacturing development marks the latest move by the Cupertino tech giant in building now outsourced technology in-house. The company is said to be using a secret manufacturing facility in California near its headquarters to make a limited run of microLED screens for testing purposes.
Fortunately for the Asian suppliers unless Apple has made an inovation in the technology, it is unlikely to be different from what is available now. Moreover, the technology assures that the gadgets will be slimmer, less power consuming, and brighter than current gadgets.
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. Apple's yet to contact display builders because it does not want to reveal its proprietary technology to other industry members. However, these screens require a more advanced technological know-how than OLED displays. The facility also has a special area for the intricate process of "growing" LEDs. Apple starting working on display technology that is not even mainstream might sound odd but it's great to see Apple finally entering the market as its known for making great strides with newer technologies and other companies usually follow.
Apple has already managed to build MicroLED displays for the Apple Watch, albeit in a proof-of-concept kind of way. The report points out that this technology will take at least, four to five years to make an appearance on the iPhone. Initially, it was presumed that Apple will introduce the first MicroLED screens into the Apple Watch, but that has yet to happen. But as for when they're going to be released to the public, it seems that it's going to be few years away. The 62,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is located in Santa Clara, California, and houses about 300 engineers busy designing and producing MicroLED screens for use in future products.
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While display makers are already anxious, they don't need to worry about losing Apple's business yet.
Previously, there have been reports on Apple's intentions to expand its supply sources beyond Samsung.
Samsung has been greatly benefiting from the early success of Apple's iPhone X, losing quite a bit of money on recent production slowdowns and revised sales targets. Executives recently permitted continued development overcoming 2 years, with an aim of installing MicroLED screens in products.