Apple is reportedly working on its own MicroLED display to replace OLED

Apple's microLED plant in Santa Clara California

Apple has been reported to be making a significant investment in the development of next-generation microLED technology. In addition for enabling brighter panels and being more power-efficient than OLED, MicroLED will also give device makers the flexibility to deliver thinner and differently shaped products. Use of the MicroLED technology would ensure that the future devices are slimmer, brighter and use less power.

Citing sources inside Taiwan's panel industry, a report by Digitimes is claiming that Apple may buy up to 270 million iPhone display panels in 2018, with OLED panels hitting as much as 130 million units. Apple is said to have been on the verge of axing the project a year ago, but managed to work through the problems. According to sources familiar with the situation, the MicroLED technology that Apple is working on is now "at an advanced stage". Customers need to wait for few years for getting the required results.

As CNBC reports, shares in a range of Apple suppliers fell after Bloomberg's article went live.

Apple's latest move could help to replace LG Display, Japan Display, Samsung and many more.

Samsung has also been working on MicroLED technology for its big-screen TVs. Building this technology in-house provides a golden opportunity for the tech giant. However, because each pixel has its own light in a MicroLED array, it throws up some manufacturing challenges. So, the firm might have to push the project back. There is likely again a new Apple Watch coming in 2018. The facility in California is small for production.

Right now smartphones and other gadgets essentially use off-the-shelf display technology. The displays from LG are expected to feature in this year's "iPhone X Plus" device.

Smartphone manufacturers design screens according to their specifications. Apple gets the iPhone X screen from Samsung. By developing its own panels, Apple can cut its competitors out of that equation and produce its own screens. The move would see typical OLED screens now used in the Watch replaced by the low-power equivalent, with a prototype reportedly already in the works.

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