Apple reportedly en route to building its own MicroLED screen

Apple plans to make a small number of screens at first for testing purposes for their wearable devices, as reported by Bloomberg. TMO's John Martellaro did an excellent job explaining the differences between the technologies.

MicroLED displays are quite different from OLED displays as these use a different light-emitting compound. Since the MicroLED displays are more hard to produce than OLEDs, Apple has even taken into consideration killing the project altogether past year.

The report suggested that the Apple Watch would be first Apple product with MicroLED technology, which is notoriously tricky to manufacture.

The work on displays hasn't been a smooth journey for Apple though, since they've actually killed a project about a year ago.

As the tech related to MicroLED is still in research, it's not exactly ready for production and Apple joining the race is a sign that it wants to have more control over its products. According to previous reports, Apple had placed an order for 70 million displays from Samsung for use in the iPhone 8. This might take a couple of years to happen. The technology is still in a developmental stage and it could be some years before Apple commercialises it, whereas the iPhone 9 is expected to enter the market in autumn this year at the company's annual Special Event.

According to the report, Apple's MicroLED effort is codenamed T159 and is being managed by Lynn Young, one of the company's executives.

If Apple can get microLED technology sorted out before the likes of Samsung and Sony (both of which are actively working on it), its phones would have a distinct advantage. MicroLED is regarded as the fourth generation of flat panel display that will succeed LCD and OLED.

The report also mentions of another facility that houses technology that handles LED-transfers, a process in which individual pixels are placed into a microLED screen. The drop of shares in Japan Display is 4.4 percent, Sharp drop by 3.3 percent and Samsung by 1.4 percent. Approximately 300 engineers are working at a 62000-square-foot development facility in California, regarding designing and manufacturing MicroLED screens to utilize in future products.

It's unclear at this point when MicroLED could come to some of Apple's devices.

People familiar with the situation claim that Apple Inc is designing its own screen displays in a secret plant in California.

  • Fernando Stephens