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Apple opened a secret laboratory in northern Taiwan earlier this year to develop thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple has also been recruiting talent from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm to work at the new factory.

appletaiwandisplay.jpg
Image via Bloomberg
Apple began operating the lab this year as it aims to make products thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient. Engineers are developing more-advanced versions of the liquid-crystal displays currently used in iPhones, iPads and Mac personal computers, the people said. Apple also is keen to move to organic light-emitting diodes, which are even thinner and don't require a backlight, they said.
The facility, which was owned by Qualcomm, is still being staffed and currently has 50 employees. Apple has listed two job postings for the new Taiwan factory on its careers page. Both jobs require experience working with display technologies.

Bloomberg was able to confirm that the factory is operated by Apple, noting that there was an Apple logo in the receptionist's area and that employees wore Apple ID badges. However, neither Apple nor any of the employees commented on what was being worked on inside the facility.

Last week it was reported that Japan Display was planning to begin mass production of OLED displays for future iPhones in Spring 2018. The joint venture by Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba is reportedly in negotiations with Apple to secure OLED orders for future iPhones.

Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple would not switch to OLED displays for the next three years while Nikkei reported that the Cupertino company planned to make the switch in Spring 2018. Apple supplier Foxconn is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines in China for mass production in 2018. Apple currently uses TFT-LCD displays in its iPhones.

The move would allow Apple to reduce its reliance on suppliers like Sharp, LG, Samsung and Japan Display. Apple has a long history of researching and designing its own components in-house and then outsourcing the manufacturing to suppliers like Foxconn.

Article Link: Apple Working on Thinner, Brighter Displays at Secret Taiwanese Lab
 

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68040
May 31, 2015
3,006
6,217
Texas
We'll have to wait until 2018 for OLED. I'm still hoping for 1080p for the iPhone 7, especially since even low-end Android phones are starting to have them.
 

knownikko

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2009
276
200
Legit question, when is the last time any of you whipped an iphone out of your pocket and thought "my what a beautiful thing you are, if only you were thinner!".

Slimming down components is one thing, let's make room for more battery! But when the discussion veers off into design and experience compromises for the sake of thinness... something seems wrong.
 

AdamskiUK

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2011
168
194
If they thinnerise the LCD, does that make more room for the battery?

If not, why not?
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
15,463
14,813
Singapore
Legit question, when is the last time any of you whipped an iphone out of your pocket and thought "my what a beautiful thing you are, if only you were thinner!".

Slimming down components is one thing, let's make room for more battery! But when the discussion veers off into design and experience compromises for the sake of thinness... something seems wrong.
It's one of those things you don't realise or appreciate until you get it, then you get so used to the new status quo that you can't go back to anything worse.

I didn't think my iPhone 4s was too thick or heavy...until I laid my hands on an iPhone 5 / 5s and after some time with my 5s, I picked up a 4s and was like "gosh, didn't remember this thing being so heavy before".
 

knownikko

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2009
276
200
It's one of those things you don't realise or appreciate until you get it, then you get so used to the new status quo that you can't go back to anything worse.

I didn't think my iPhone 4s was too thick or heavy...until I laid my hands on an iPhone 5 / 5s and after some time with my 5s, I picked up a 4s and was like "gosh, didn't remember this thing being so heavy before".

But surely we're reaching the point of diminishing returns here. Until now we've been able to accomplish "more thinner" without drastically reducing functionality or features. Now we're at that point, where we're talking about removing ubiquitous and oft-used features in pursuit of some arbitrary measure of thickness.

Like I said, I get the idea of miniaturizing components all around. Thinner display = more room for other stuff. Everyone wins.
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2014
2,109
5,322
Oklahoma
Apple needs to hurry up and create a 4k Cinema display. It's pretty embarrassing that their stand-alone Thunderbolt display is thicker than the new iMac but has half the resolution. Come'on now people!
They're waiting for technology to catch up to where they can release a 5K Thunderbolt display. My understanding is that that's about to happen with Thunderbolt 3.

Not to say that excuses them not updating the design, but at this point, I assume they just want to kill two birds with one stone.
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,818
2,634
NYC
Apple needs to hurry up and create a 4k Cinema display. It's pretty embarrassing that their stand-alone Thunderbolt display is thicker than the new iMac but has half the resolution. Come'on now people!

Seriously. The thunderbolt display is ancient. Apple needed a 4K display in 2013 when they updated the Mac Pro. At this point it's sort of ridiculous.
 

JimmyHook

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2015
741
1,475
Legit question, when is the last time any of you whipped an iphone out of your pocket and thought "my what a beautiful thing you are, if only you were thinner!".

Slimming down components is one thing, let's make room for more battery! But when the discussion veers off into design and experience compromises for the sake of thinness... something seems wrong.
I understand the point, but I have to side with Apple on this one. People say that thinness isn't a priority... UNTIL they hold a thinner/lighter device. Like the jump to iPad air. It startled me how light it was. If something can "fade into the background" as Jony Ive would say, its an amazing feat of engineering. It isn't for aesthetics, I think I would prefer the lightest device that physics permits.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,877
28,977
Legit question, when is the last time any of you whipped an iphone out of your pocket and thought "my what a beautiful thing you are, if only you were thinner!".

Slimming down components is one thing, let's make room for more battery! But when the discussion veers off into design and experience compromises for the sake of thinness... something seems wrong.

Sounds like they're working on more energy efficient displays that don't require a backlight. Wouldn't that improve battery life?

I understand the point, but I have to side with Apple on this one. People say that thinness isn't a priority... UNTIL they hold a thinner/lighter device. Like the jump to iPad air. It startled me how light it was. If something can "fade into the background" as Jony Ive would say, its an amazing feat of engineering. It isn't for aesthetics, I think I would prefer the lightest device that physics permits.

Ask people if they'd want a thicker and heavier iPad and I'll bet almost everyone except the ATP guys would say no. Lots of people complained that iPad 3 was heavier than iPad 2.
 

lah

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2010
372
278
Sounds like they're working on more energy efficient displays that don't require a backlight. Wouldn't that improve battery life?
Exactly. Rather than bulk up the phone by adding battery, Apple is trying to use materials that can extend the life of current sized batteries.
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
15,463
14,813
Singapore
But surely we're reaching the point of diminishing returns here. Until now we've been able to accomplish "more thinner" without drastically reducing functionality or features. Now we're at that point, where we're talking about removing ubiquitous and oft-used features in pursuit of some arbitrary measure of thickness.

Like I said, I get the idea of miniaturizing components all around. Thinner display = more room for other stuff. Everyone wins.
Everything is ubiquitous, until it isn't.

I like the idea of there being no sacred cows. So what if the audio jack has been around for decades? If Apple can find a way to do away with it without compromising the listening experience, then I say, go ahead by all means.

That's part of the reason why I bought into the Apple ecosystem in the first place. Not just because their products worked for me at a time when Windows didn't, but also because I admired Apple's attitude. The whole "March to their own beat and not care a crap about what the rest of the world thinks." sentiment. The more the world claimed that Apple was wrong, the more Apple continued to forge ahead, and not only prove themselves to have been right all along, but also make the rest of the competition look like utter idiots while at it.

And personally, given the sheer amount of opposition to this rumoured move, I say to Apple (if they are indeed contemplating such a move; I believe the design for the iPhone 7 has more or less been finalised at this stage), go ahead. If the audio jack remains, so be it. If it goes, I will be more than happy to vote with my wallet and support any change in standards you wish to implement.
 

kwikdeth

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
1,067
1,412
Tempe, AZ
if you can't live with modern smartphone battery life then you need to stop staring at a screen all day and get out some more...8 hours every day on your phone????

here's a suggestion: try TALKING to actual people

I'd suggest the same - you might discover that battery life is highly variable to conditions and use. You might also learn that making such blanket statements makes you look as silly as the people you're ridiculing.
 

NovemberWhiskey

macrumors 68040
May 18, 2009
3,018
1,270
Burn in and change over time. It's still a thing. It's still a problem no one has solved.

Yup. I had a Galaxy Nexus with a Super AMOLED display. After a year or so, the thing was incredibly saturated and "blue". I have seen pics of burn in, but have not experienced it myself.
 
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