A new report claims that Apple is investing heavily in micro-LED screen production in a bid to wean itself off Samsung displays.
Nikkei Asia claims that Apple is taking an increasingly hands-on approach to display production. Having invested at least $1 billion on micro-LED display R&D over the past decade, it now plans to take control of production.
Just like most other smartphone manufacturers, Apple relies heavily on Samsung for the OLED displays in smartphones like the iPhone 14 and smartwatches like the Apple Watch 8. That was never something the manufacturer was going to comfortable with in the long term.
Besides designing some of the integrated circuit technology for its future micro-LED displays, Apple has apparently designed some of the production machinery itself. While its micro-LED screens are only at the sample stage right now, the report claims that the company is looking to introduce its own screens in commercial product as soon as 2025, with the Apple Watch first up to make the switch.
The ultimate plan, of course, is for Apple to produce all of the screens for its iPhone family, which is central to the company’s fortunes. Making this switch will be essential to paying off all that R&D investment.
In addition to saving the company money, it’s expected that moving over to micro-LED screen technology will bring about further hardware innovation. Micro-LED components tend to be much smaller than other LED standards, potentially making room for integrated fingerprint recognition or health-related sensors on wearables.
Micro-LED displays can also be used on foldable products, which is a market that Apple has long been tipped to enter at some point.
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It’s not the first time we’ve heard that Apple is looking to make its own micro-LED displays. Back in January we heard that Apple could start doing so from 2024, and was already testing the technology on the Apple Watch Ultra.