Apple May Procure Up to 270 Million iPhone Display Panels in 2018

Audrey Hill
March 20, 2018

Yesterday's Bloomberg report claims that Apple is working on designing and producing its own displays in a secret facility in Santa Clara, California.

Any would-be Apple designed MicroLED displays aren't going to be available this year, however. MicroLED displays use different light-emitting compounds than OLED screens, but they are thinner, brighter and more energy efficient than the latter.

Shares in Asian display makers initially slid on the news on Monday but later pared losses. This will be the first time Apple has developed and produced its own device displays and they are starting with the Apple Watch. However, the company is expected to deliver MicroLED on the Apple Watch first, since the screen is smaller and therefore easier to control, according to the report.

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It is unlikely that the technology will reach an iPhone for at least three to five years as MicroLED screens are more hard to produce than the current displays, Bloomberg said. Apple reportedly considered shutting down the project (known internally as T159) previous year. It bought the startup LuxVue in 2014, and there have been many subsequent reports on how the purchase might be put to use. Apple believed to have a secret manufacturing facility in California. Apple has reportedly been working to first bring MicroLED to the Apple Watch, with some rumors pointing to that happening as soon as this year. Samsung dropped by about 1.5%, Sharp over 3% while Japan Display dropped as much as 4.4%. An additional 40-50 million 6.5-inch OLED panels will be procured by Apple for the production of a less expensive iPhone model.

Apple already designs its own chips.

Samsung has been greatly benefiting from the early success of Apple's iPhone X, losing quite a bit of money on recent production slowdowns and revised sales targets. Executives of Apple have approved development for next couple of years with an objective of shipping MicroLED screens in products. All these tiny LEDs must be individually manufactured and calibrated. Three hundred engineers are now working on the project in a 62,000-square-foot space.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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