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MicroLED display development receives focused attention from Apple

/ 05:32 PM March 20, 2018

iPhone X with OLED screen  (Image: INQUIRER.net Stock Photo)

Apple has been investing extra funds on developing a new type of screen, which may overtake OLED displays.

A good amount of the company’s funds has been going to a secret facility near its California headquarters. The facility’s goal is to develop and produce test samples of MicroLED screens, according to a report by BloombergTechnology.

MicroLED is a next-generation display technology that can potentially allow for slimmer and less power-hungry gadgets with brighter displays.

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However, creating a MicroLED screen has proven difficult so far because it uses different materials compared with OLED. Depending on screen size, a MicroLED display can contain millions of individual pixels while having three sub-pixels each. By comparison an 8K resolution display has 7,680 pixels by 4,320 lines.

Research on the technology is currently in its advanced stages but it may take a few more years before it gets implemented on a new iPhone.

Along the way the Cupertino company will have a few challenges to face. For one, new technology often requires new manufacturing equipment to build products. Outsourcing production of new screens runs the risk of the technology leaking to competitors.

OLED screen makers like Samsung and LG, which have been contracted to produce OLED displays for the iPhone X and future models, may also develop a better screen to overtake MicroLED.

For now, the iPhone maker is keeping a tight lid on the finer details of the new screen technology. The report suggests at least a three- to four-year wait time before MicroLED arrives on consumer gadgets.  /ra

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TAGS: Apple, iPhone, MicroLED, screen technology
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