Apple's MicroLED Breakthrough Puts Samsung on Notice

As it stands now, every smartphone maker is able to buy an OLED or LCD screen from companies like Universal Display, Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies told Bloomberg. But as it's comprised of quantum dots atop self-emissive diodes, with micro pixels and micro (less than 1mm) pixel spacing, it's an involved and expensive technology to produce. 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. Apple is now ordering screens from other companies, as the display for iPhone X is produced by Samsung Displays.

Bloomberg reckons the presence of MicroLED screens in Apple devices is still a few years away, but when the technology arrives it will make its debut in the Apple Watch. Executives recently permitted continued development overcoming 2 years, with an aim of installing MicroLED screens in products. In fact, according to this CNBC report, all the major display makers saw their share prices dip after the Bloomberg report regarding Apple making its own display.

Apple is done relying on Samsung, LG, and others for its displays.

iPhones of the future will be equipped with brighter, slimmer and more power efficient screens, a secret research project at Apple suggests. "But Apple could own MicroLED".

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For now, the company is only working on displays for the Apple Watch but if things work out, we may see Apple making screens for its much popular products like the iPhone, the Mac, and the iPad in the future.

Apple's focus on MicroLED is due to the benefits offered, notably they create thinner, brighter, and less power-hungry displays without the downsides of OLED (limited life span, brightness).

But Apple isn't the only company working on MicroLED.

Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display will be main suppliers of LTPS panels to Apple this year, sources said. The 62,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is very near to the Apple Park campus in Cupertino. But just like Apple is planning to go it alone when it comes to internal components of the iPhone, it now looks like Apple wants to do the same with the display as well. If the news proves to be true, it could hit Apple's current suppliers.

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