Apple baking MicroLED tech for use in future Apple Watches and iPhones

Apple is looking to start designing and manufacturing its own MicroLED screens, according to a new report.

The Cupertino firm is making a significant investment into the development of next-generation MicroLED panels, a screen tech that promises to make future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry, reports Bloomberg.

Apple is using a secret manufacturing facility near its Cupertino, California headquarters to make a small number of the aforementioned MicroLED screens for internal testing purposes, revealed people familiar with the matter.

“There, about 300 engineers are designing and producing MicroLED screens for use in future products,” notes Bloomberg. “The facility also has a special area for the intricate process of growing LEDs.”

MicroLED screens are a lot more difficult to produce than standard OLEDs, so much so that the firm was almost forced to axe the project in 2017. Perseverance paid off, though, and the tech is now at an advanced stage, sources say.

The decision to start manufacturing its own screens could help Apple distance itself from relying on suppliers like Samsung Display. It could even end up designing and producing panels for other manufacturers a few years down the line.

Related: iPhone X

This news comes a little more than a month after Bloomberg reported that Apple has a total of three new Macs – one desktop and two refreshed laptops – up its sleeve, all of which are said to be equipped with an in-house co-processor.

While the units should still ship with an Intel processor, the move towards an Apple-made co-processor suggests that the firm is gradually introducing the infrastructure required to start manufacturing the entire CPU setup itself.

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