(FinancialPress) — Apple Inc. (AAPL) has begun design and production of its own line of display units for their devices. This is a first for the Steve Jobs-founded company, which has historically preferred to contract third parties to develop the costly parts. For now, it‘s using a facility in the vicinity of its California headquarters to host production of test screen batches, anonymous sources revealed.
The development of next-gen MicroLED screens is bound to represent sizeable investment from the tech giant, said the sources. MicroLED brings an array of advantages over the current OLED screens, which will amount to upcoming gadgets being slimmer, less power-consuming and brighter.
MicroLED screens are far costlier than OLED ones – so much so that the project was almost killed a year or so ago. Since then, engineers at the plant have achieved considerable advances and now consider the project to be in “advanced“ stages. Even so, consumers will most likely see the results of the research only in a couple of years.
Having control over the MicroLED technology could bring a much-needed edge to Apple over competitors such as Samsung (SSNLF). Samsung has notoriously been able to boast better screens than the Silicon Valley company‘s devices, and even has provided the latter with screens for iPhone units. But, as Ray Soneira of DisplayMate highlights, bringing the cornerstone component‘s design in-house could be a “golden opportunity“ for Apple. “Everyone can buy an OLED or LCD screen,” he says. “But Apple could own MicroLED.”
However, mass production will most likely be commissioned to a third party as to avoid the growing pains that come with establishing a manufacturing line from scratch. The testing facility in California is big enough for trial runs, but mass production would prove too much for the space it has. The idea is to withhold the proprietary technology away from competitors for as long as possible. “We put a lot of money into the facility“, the source said. “It’s big enough to get through the engineering builds [and] lets us keep everything in-house during the development stages.”