Apple Inc. is one of the biggest tech giants in the world with a net worth over $900 billion. However, the company never developed its own displays for devices they have launched till now. This seems to change now. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple has been designing and manufacturing its own device displays at the secret manufacturing factory near headquarters in California. According to people, the company has been producing small number of screens for the purpose of testing. The tech giant has been making enormous investment in MicroLED technology development. MicroLED technology utilize different light emitting compounds as compared to current OLED displays. Moreover, the technology assures that the gadgets will be slimmer, less power consuming, and brighter than current gadgets.
The people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the screens are so much difficult to manufacture in comparison to OLED screens. The tech giant almost gave up the project about a year ago. However, engineers have been able to make progress in the technology and it is in the advanced phase. Customers need to wait for few years for getting the required results.
Apple’s pursuit to produce its own screen may hamper range of suppliers such as Samsung Electronics Co., Sharp Corp., and LG Display Co. along with chip-screen interface producers such as Synaptics Inc. Moreover, it may hamper the leading OLED display manufacturer Universal Display Corp. The value of shares of display manufacturers fell after the report from Bloomberg. Sharp’s shares dropped 3.3 percent, while Samsung’s fell down 1.4 percent.
Taking control over MicroLED technology would help Apple stay strong in the smartphone market and outpace arch rivals including Samsung which tout about their superior screens. Building this technology in-house provides a golden opportunity for the tech giant. However, the development of such screens will not be an easy task for the Cupertino-based company. Mass production of screen requires new manufacturing equipment. Moreover, they might be something new in the market till the time Apple’s technology is ready. So, the firm might have to push the project back.
It is possible that Apple will outsource manufacturing of its new screen technology to lower the risk of hitting the bottom line. The facility in California is small for production. The company also wants to avoid exposure of its proprietary technology away from its partners. Smartphones and other gadgets have been using off-the-shelf display technology. The screen of Apple Watch has been manufactured with LG Display. Its latest iPhone X was manufactured with OLED technology of Samsung.
Smartphone manufacturers design screens according to their specifications. Apple has been tweaking their screens of iPhones for color accuracy. This will be the first time when Apple will design end-to-end screen itself. According to the people familiar to the matter, MicroLED Apple Watch prototypes do not function fully yet. The small portion of the screen is connected to the computer board. These displays are brighter than OLED displays used in watches. The finer level of control over different colors offers engineers ability to design efficiently. Executives of Apple have approved development for next couple of years with an objective of shipping MicroLED screens in products. It is interesting to see how these screens will be accepted by customers.