Apple Opens Secret Lab to Test Thinner, Lighter and Brighter Screens
Apple has opened a secret production laboratory in northern Taiwan to build new display technologies, reports Bloomberg. Reducing reliance on companies like Samsung, LG, and Sharp, Apple is reported to have moved to these facilities in April before which the same building was occupied by Qualcomm since 2008.
Apple secretly developing new display technologies:
Located in Longtan, Apple has recruited at least 50 engineers and other employees developing new display technologies for iPhone and iPad. The report claims that Apple has recruited its staff from its competing display makers Qualcomm and others. While Bloomberg has confirmed from multiple sources that the factory is indeed owned by Apple, there is no indication of it inside the building except for an Apple logo and an iMac. Finally a hopeful sign of moving from current LCD technologies to better displays for iPhone and iPad, Apple is also focused to stop relying on technology developed by big display houses like LG Display, Japan Display, Samsung, and others. Apple is instead planning to outsource its production to smaller companies like Innolux and AU Optronics.
By working directly on the development of display technologies, Apple can reduce reliance on the technology developed by suppliers such as Samsung Electronics Co., LG Display Co., Sharp Corp. and Japan Display Inc. Instead, the company can develop the production processes in-house and outsource to smaller manufacturers such as Taiwan’s AU Optronics or Innolux Corp.
Shares of AU Optronics surged 7 percent, the most in four months, in Taipei and Innolux jumped 2.6 percent. Japan Display dropped 3.9 percent in Tokyo to the lowest in more than two months, and Sharp fell 1.6 percent.
With a goal to make thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient displays, Apple is reportedly switching to "organic light-emitting diodes, which are even thinner and don’t require a backlight." While an earlier report claimed that Apple does not plan on using OLED displays on iPhones until 2018, it certainly doesn't mean that Apple is not putting the efforts to develop its own supplies. With OLED displays having made significant improvements, LCDs have very modestly improved driving iPhone users upset with the displays their smartphones sport.
An earlier report from Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Foxconn has recently invested $4 billion into a new LCD plant. With all the reports hinting at the same thing, it seems like Apple is ready to both control its inventories and also improve the screens used in the iPhone, iPad and Macs.