Apple’s secret display lab could be testing an OLED alternative


Yesterday we learned that Apple was developing its own new display technology at a “secret laboratory” in Taiwan. Now a new report claims to reveal exactly what the Cupertino company is up to.

According to DigiTimes, Apple is likely focused on developing micro-LED displays, an emerging technology that’s expected to compete directly with OLED. Micro-LED is capable of working without a backlight, potentially allowing for even thinner devices. The technology also boasts an improved range of colors.

This lines up pretty well with Bloomberg’s original report, which claimed Apple was focused on developing thinner and brighter displays. It could also give the Cupertino company a big advantage against Samsung and LG, which dominate the OLED industry.

Apple has demonstrated interest in micro-LED in the past. Last year the company bought LuxVue, a small firm focused on the technology. That means Cupertino has likely been working on these new displays for at least a year, though it could still be a while before we see the results.

For now the main issue with micro-LED comes down to production. Low yields are still a problem, and it could be a while before Apple can find a solution. The first devices to use the new technology likely won’t arrive until 2017 or even 2018, and even then it could be limited to small and mid-sized screens.