Is Apple developing its own MicroLED screen technology for a future iPhone?

By doing so, Apple would reduce its reliance on rivals like Samsung

iPhone 8

Apple is reportedly no longer satisfied using off-the-shelf OLED tech in its iPhones, iPads and smartwatches, and is in the process of developing its own MicroLED panels.

The tech giant has been making significant investments in developing the technology at a secret manufacturing facility in Cupertino, where the company is headquartered, anonymous sources told Bloomberg yesterday.

MicroLED is an emerging flat-panel technology that offers multiple benefits over OLED and traditional LCD technology. Of particular interest to Apple is likely the fact that MicroLED uses much less energy, which could improve battery life and also enable the development of thinner devices. They also offer better contrast, higher colour saturation and lower latency.

However, it's also much more difficult to manufacture and hasn't yet been produced at commercial scale anywhere, although Samsung hopes to bring a MicroLED TV it showcased at CES to market this year.

These challenges led to Apple almost killing its own development project a year ago, according to Bloomberg's sources, but in the end it decided to continue working on the technology. This determination has apparently paid off and the company's MicroLED efforts are now reportedly at "an advanced stage".

The likelihood of the iPhone 9 or any upcoming new Apple Watches having MicroLED screens is fairly low, however. The technology is still in a developmental stage and it could be some years before Apple commercialises it, whereas the iPhone 9 is expected to enter the market in autumn this year at the company's annual Special Event.

Samsung currently produces OLED screens for Apple's iPhone X flagship, but was expected to take a hit from subdued demand for the device, which led Apple to cut the number of units it planned to build. This left Samsung with excess capacity after ramping up production in readiness for the iPhone X's release.

Citing "people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning", Bloomberg said Apple 

IT Pro contacted Apple regarding the claims, but hadn't received a response at the time of publication.

Featured Resources

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Simplify cluster security at scale

Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environments

Download now

The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure

Threats to endpoints in a world of remote working

Download now

2021 state of IT asset management report

The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investments

Download now

Recommended

Apple reportedly ramps up search engine development
iOS

Apple reportedly ramps up search engine development

29 Oct 2020
Samsung Galaxy S21 may drop charger and earphones
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 may drop charger and earphones

29 Oct 2020
Microsoft Office for iPad gets mouse and trackpad support
Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office for iPad gets mouse and trackpad support

27 Oct 2020
Lookout reveals mobile-first endpoint detection and response solution
Security

Lookout reveals mobile-first endpoint detection and response solution

21 Oct 2020

Most Popular

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?

19 Oct 2020
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

21 Oct 2020
What is Neuralink?
Technology

What is Neuralink?

24 Oct 2020