Apple has a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing test samples of its own displays, reports Bloomberg. MicroLED panels are more hard to produce than other display technologies.
MicroLED screens are flat panel displays that make gadgets thinner, brighter and uses less power compared with current OLED displays.
Shares in three Asian display makers fell after publication of the report. The move into displays will surely hurt a range of suppliers such as Samsung, Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp that produce chip-screen interfaces.
If Apple succeeds in developing MicroLED screens then it will have a significant advantage over its arch-rival Samsung, which is a leading manufacturer of OLED screens. Apple is now ordering screens from other companies, as the display for iPhone X is produced by Samsung Displays.
According to Bloomberg's report, Apple almost shelved the project a few years back but the company's engineers made progress and the tech is now at an "advanced" stage. This is perhaps the latest example of Apple to bring in the design of key components. It inherited the intellectual property driving the development when it acquired display firm LuxVue in 2014. This makes MicroLEDs efficient, slimmer and brighter than the current OLED displays in the market.
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Apple's laptops, smartphones, tablets, and watches rely on hundreds of parts, most of which Apple sources from other companies around the world.
MicroLED manufacturing Apple is increasingly discontented with the state of its supply chain.
As we have mentioned earlier, Apple is likely to purchase as much as 270 million flat panels for the production of iPhone devices this year. Only in recent months have Apple engineers grown confident in their ability to eventually replace screens from Samsung and other suppliers. All these tiny LEDs must be individually manufactured and calibrated. The 62,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is very near to the Apple Park campus in Cupertino.