According to Bloomberg, Apple has a “secret” facility in Taiwan where it will try to produce next generation screens for its products.
Design LCD and OLED screens in-house
While the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has always designed its own chips for use in both of its iPhones and iPads before outsourcing the production, it’s being reported from multiple sources that the company is now interested in designing its own screens for the same products.
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According to sources speaking to Bloomberg, Apple has around 50 engineers working at a secret production lab in Taiwan. The lab is located 31 miles outside of the island capital where display engineers are working round the clock on the next-generation of both organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and liquid crystal display (LCD) technologies.
According to records from the Hsinchu Science Park, where the lab is located, the facility has been rented by Apple since April of this year. Confirming, without confirming the Bloomberg report, is the fact that Apple is still actively looking for Taiwan-based display engineers on LinkedIn.
Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8
If the past is anything to go by, Apple will introduce the iPhone 7 sometime next year, likely in Sept./Oct. Most experts believe that the iPhone 7 will once again have a LCD display despite the fact that Samsung and others have already begun introducing smartphones with OLED screens.
If indeed Apple follows its existing pattern, the iPhone 8 could likely ship with an OLED screen when introduced in 2018. A report from last week hints that Apple has been in conversations with Japan Display, a current supplier of LCD screens for the iPhone and iPad, for OLED screens for the 2008 model smartphone.
The use of OLED screens could/would allow Apple to think thinner, brighter, and lighter with more energy efficiency as the display would not need to be back-lighted like an LCD screen.
Additional benefits for Apple
If Apple can develop its own displays it would save the company considerably money over the long term while building to the high standards it self-imposes.
While iPhones and iPads are still using LCD displays and likely will when the assumed iPhone 7 is announced, Apple is already using an OLED display in the Apple Watch and this is expected to continue to the next-generation that will likely be introduced in March. The OLED display for the Apple Watch is presently supplied by the South Korean firm LG.