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Rumor: Foxconn expanding investment in MicroLED technology for next-gen iPhones

Wednesday May 1, 2019. 12:15 PM , from Power Page
The rumor mill has it that Foxconn is broadening its investment in MicroLED display technology in an effort to win orders from Apple for its next-gen iPhones.

MicroLED is widely considered to be Apple’s next step after OLED, which it currently uses for the Apple Watch and iPhone XS. MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages that OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks – given both have self-lit pixels. 

MicroLED displays are also thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels. MicroLED displays also feature inorganic gallium nitride-based LEDs, which offer a longer lifespan than the organic compound used in OLED displays and should make them more resistant to burn-in issues. 

Apple first expressed an interest in MicroLED in 2014, which is acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. In 2015, it was discovered that Apple had also opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and MicroLED for future devices. 

As of 2017, it was reported that Apple scaled back its efforts at the laboratory, possibly switching to a facility closer to Apple’s home base. As such, Apple is also believed to have a secret manufacturing plant in Santa Clara, California, where it’s thought to be designing and producing display test samples using MicroLED technology. 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is thought to be providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables. Apple has also reportedly had preliminary talks with Taiwan-based company PlayNitride over cooperation in the MicroLED market. 

It’s likely to be a few years before MicroLED displays appear in Apple products – such as one year before they hit the Apple Watch and two to four years before they arrive on the iPhone – following a point when MicroLED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and DigiTimes
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