Apple to design, produce its own device displays for first time

Apple Inc is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, at a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

According to the sources, the company is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens. MicroLED screens use compounds that are different from the ones used in current OLED displays and hold promise of making future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry.

The production of the screens is much more difficult than OLED displays and the project was almost scrapped by the company a year or so ago, according to the people. They add that engineers have since then been able to make much progress and the technology is now at an advanced stage.  Consumers would, however, have to wait a few years before the results can be seen.

According to commentators, the ambitious undertaking is the latest example of Apple bringing the design of key components in-house. 

They point out that Apple has designed chips powering its mobile devices for several years and its move into displays has the long-term potential to hurt a range of suppliers, from screen makers like Samsung Electronics Co, Japan Display Inc and others.

Meanwhile, LG plans to continue with an LCD display for its next-generation G7 flagship smartphone, according to a report from S Korea’s The Investor. According to the report the move will cut costs, with an LCD panel available for less than that of an OLED display.

According to commentators, it is odd to see LG going back to LCD displays when the whole industry is adopting OLED panels for their flagship smartphones. According to the report, LG’s decision to pump more resources in LCD could be related to Apple, which received a mixed response to its iPhone X, the company’s first smartphone with an OLED panel.