Giving more information on Apple’s in-house microLED display, Nikkie Asia states that the company is developing the tech to reduce reliance on Samsung and has already invested $1 billion in the tech in the past 10 years.
Although Samsung and Apple are rivals in the smartphone market, they are also supply chain partners. Currently, the Cupertino tech giant procures OLED displays for Apple Watch and iPhone from Samsung and it wants to change that.
Apple plans to perform the microLED display “mass transfer” step itself
Previously, it was reported that Apple was working on a custom microLED display tech for the 2025 Apple Watch Ultra and across its entire product line in the coming years.
Now, we know that the tech giant is gearing up to get involved in the mass production of new microLED displays for multiple reasons: to lessen reliance on Samsung, cut costs, and control the supply of the key component.
“Apple has spent at least $1 billion on the R&D and samples for micro-LED technologies in the past nearly 10 years,” said one of the people who has been directly involved in the project for years. “It wants to secure more control over the next-gen display technologies for its future products.”
For the project, the tech giant is in partnership with ams-Osram for micro-LED components, LG Display for the substrates, and TSMC for the 12-inch wafer.
Furthermore, Apple has spent nearly $1 billion on R&D and samples for micro-LED technologies in the past decade, and once the display’s production starts, Apple will also perform the critical “mass transfer” step itself. The report states:
The mass transfer step involves moving at least tens of thousands of tiny micro-LED chips onto substrates. This process will be carried out at Apple’s secretive R&D facilities in the Longtan District in the northern Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the project.