Apple develops proprietary MicroLED displays
The first Apple devices with OLED screens are Apple Watch, MacBook Pro (TouchBar on the keyboard) and iPhone X, but the company is already preparing for the next step in the evolution of display technologies. Thus, in a small California plant, a short distance from the headquarters, Apple develops MicroLED screens, which may soon appear on all of the company's devices. This is not the first time Apple has begun developing proprietary technology and it seems to be its future plan for device production.
MicroLED was first introduced by Samsung on CES 2018, with a modular TV set that can be configured to any size the user wants depending on the number of modules used. Apple has not advanced so much with MicroLED technology, but it already has panels that can be successfully used in small devices such as Apple Watch
It seems the plan is that displays on iPhones, iMac, MacBook, iPad and Apple Watch will switch to MicroLED technology when it will be profitable for mass production, and panel production will remain in its own factories or be licensed to partners. Thus, Apple would have control over another important component after it began in the past years to develop proprietary chipsets, Bluetooth chipsets, vibration systems and graphics chips.
Bloomberg, however, reports that the production of devices equipped with Apple's MicroLED displays is at least two years away, if their development is not going to hit any problems. But it is unclear whether their production will remain in the United States, or whether Apple will seek out an Asian partner to secure the "work hand". Also, the California plant is too small to support mass-market orders, being a center for rapid prototyping development and testing
Switching to MicroLED may have clear advantages over OLED technology, as panels can be calibrated much more thoroughly, they can be brighter and energy consumption is lower. For devices such as smartphones and smart clocks, the transition to MicroLED could significantly prolong autonomy, while guaranteeing higher resolution and natural colors
After the publication of the Bloomberg report, the stock price of some companies known to develop displays such as Samsung, LG, Japan Display and Sharp fell. Incidentally, weak iPhone X sales since the start of 2018 have more financially affected the manufacturer of Samsung's OLED displays than Apple has affected