Apple is using a secret installation in California to design and manufacture prototype MicroLED displays, according to a Bloomberg report. It is said that engineers produced fully functional Apple Watch size MicroLED displays in the installation, with the aim of using the technology commercially for the first time in the watch. The Apple Watch currently uses OLED screens from LG Display.
MicroLED is a new complex emissive display technology in which, like OLED, each pixel emits its own light instead of relying on the backlight of the entire panel. This can give MicroLED excellent contrast, energy efficiency and viewing angles without OLED commitments on brightness or longevity. Samsung is also working on MicroLED and showed a 146-inch modular TV with CES technology in January. The television, known as "The Wall", will go on sale in August, although no price has been announced.
Apple's interest in MicroLED technology was established some time ago. It bought the launch of LuxVue in 2014, and there have been many subsequent reports on how the purchase could be put to use. Last year Nikkei said that Apple planned to use MicroLED on the Apple Watch, identifying an installation in Taoyuan, Taiwan as dedicated to the development of technology. The installation was previously owned by Qualcomm and was used for Mirasol screens.
Bloomberg speculates that if Apple dominated the MicroLED design to the point where it could be mass-produced for use in conventional devices, it would be the first time that Apple can design "end-to-end" displays. Given that the report also points out that Apple will probably have to outsource the actual manufacturing of its screens, the result may not be very different from what happens today, where companies such as Samsung and LG Display produce LCD and OLED panels for the designs and specifications of Manzana.
At this point, however, MicroLED is not a mature technology, and Apple's move to the manufacturing screens themselves, even on a small scale for testing purposes, is further proof that the company wants to have more say in what that comes into your power. products. If Apple is able to master certain aspects of MicroLED screen design and keep its advances to itself for as long as possible, it may still be able to maintain the quality advantages, even if the panels have to be manufactured by someone else.