Samsung and LG are the two brands that play a vital part in the making of Apple’s mobile devices, as Apple is a great buyer of displays for giving finishing to their product.
Now, Apple Inc. is planning to start using its own custom displays on mobile devices as early as 2024. An effort to reduce its reliance on technology partners like Samsung and LG and bring more components in-house.
The company planning to put the effort into the display of the highest-end Apple Watches by the end of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The screens upgrade the current OLED — organic light-emitting diode — standard to a technology called microLED, and Apple plans to eventually bring the displays to other devices, including the iPhone.The changes are part of a sweeping effort to replace Apple supplies with homegrown parts, an undertaking that will give the company more control over the design and capabilities of its products.
The tech giant has dropped Intel Corp. chips in its Mac computers in favor of in-house designs and plans to do the same with the key wireless components in its iPhones.
A representative for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.
In 2018, Bloomberg was the first to report that Apple is planning to design its own displays. Apple’s screen switch has been underway for years. This could lead to a harsh fluctuation in the graph of Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. because they lead the two main suppliers of the watch’s screens
Wei Chen is going to lead Apple’s project, which runs Apple’s display technology group within Johny Srouji’s Hardware Technologies division. The company has begun testing the microLED displays on an update to the Apple Watch Ultra, it’s a new high-end sports watch.
Apple’s first screens designed and developed entirely in-house will be the microLED displays. The company currently sources screens from a range of manufacturers, including Japan Display Inc., Sharp Corp., and BOE Technology Group Co., in addition to Samsung and LG.
Samsung, which competes with Apple in the smartphone market in addition to serving as a supplier, declined to comment, as did LG.
Apple’s 2024 target could potentially slip until 2025, some people involved in the project said. The company also could just offer a limited supply of the new devices to get the transition started.
Though Apple has designed the new displays and devised its manufacturing process, it will likely rely on an outside supplier to handle mass production. The company operates a 62,000-square-foot facility in Santa Clara, California — about 15 minutes away from its Apple Park headquarters — where it conducts test manufacturing of the screens. It has a similar research and development campus in Taiwan.
Apple has devoted several billion dollars so far to the effort, which is considered internally to be one of the company’s most critical projects — alongside its attempts to develop an electric car, a mixed-reality headset, and key health features for its watches. The company spent about $26 billion on research and development in fiscal 2022.
In the near term, the new displays are the most significant changes coming to the Apple Watch. The company plans to introduce new models at the end of this year, but they will be modest updates focused on faster chips and minor health sensor upgrades. Apple hasn’t updated the main processor inside of its watch for three years.
The company has also customized the displays for its upcoming headset, which will use similar technology to the microLED screens coming to the Apple Watch. While it will take years before Apple moves the iPhone to microLED, it plans to bring OLED technology to the iPad with the Pro model in 2024, Bloomberg has reported.
The effort began in 2014 when Apple bought the startup LuxVue, which pioneered microLED technology. The shift to microLED has been a long time coming for Apple. The development of Apple’s own screens had been shifted to Srouji, who oversees the company’s custom chip group two years ago. Hope you like the content.
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