According to reports, Apple has set up a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara to develop its own display technology. The technology, called microLED, uses microscopic LEDs to form each pixel and is capable of delivering better contrast and response times while using less power than current technologies.
It’s executed, according to reports from Bloomberg that the facility has been developing the technology independently of Apple’s manufacturing partners, presumably so they can keep it under wraps until it’s ready for mass production. And, by building their own expertise in producing displays and then partnering directly with manufacturers, Apple can remove their dependence Samsung and LG, who produce the OLED displays they use now in many devices.
It will also help them in the ongoing balancing act of adding more power without sacrificing battery life.
First cab off the rank to use microLED will likely be the Apple Watch, possibly later this year, with larger displays reaching the iPhone a couple of years later.
Apple has always pursued full control of their supply chain – something Steve Jobs tried to very hard to achieve with his NeXT Computer before he sold the company to Apple and returned to the fold after his exile. Back then, Jobs created factories with bespoke machines that were designed to build the computers that were pitched at education and businesses.
After developing their own silicon, with the A-series processors, it seems they are keen to take advantage of their acquisition of LuxVue just over three years ago – a company that has been looking at microLED technology for a while.