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Foxconn Reportedly Investing in MicroLED Display Tech for Future iPhones

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Foxconn is broadening investment in MicroLED display technology in a bid to win orders from Apple for future iPhones, according to a report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes).

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.

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

Apple's interest in MicroLED was first reported in 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. The following year it was discovered that the iPhone maker had also opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and MicroLED for future devices.

In 2017, the company reportedly scaled back its efforts at that center, possibly switching to a facility closer to home: Apple is believed to have a secretive manufacturing plant in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing display test samples using MicroLED technology.

Image Credit: TrendForce

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is understood 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 will likely be a few years before MicroLED displays appear in Apple products - perhaps one year for the Apple Watch and two to four years for the iPhone - once MicroLED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably.

When that time comes, Apple will likely outsource full-scale production of the displays, and Foxconn is clearly planning to pick up at least some of the business, if today's report is anything to go on.

Article Link: Foxconn Reportedly Investing in MicroLED Display Tech for Future iPhones
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,150
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This technology is what I’m really anticipating and hoping from Apple for the Watch and iPhone. The direct advantages being, it has a [higher resolution over OLED, increased brightness two/three times over OLED and improved color gamut.] In terms of displays, this is the ‘Next big thing.’
 
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Zito Abroad

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2019
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Samsung is the only manufacturer that actually sells a consumer MicroLED product right now. So, it makes sense that Samsung will dominate MicroLED mobile displays. They're pretty much the goto OEM for all display tech and storage tech.
 
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msp3

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2015
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It's over, Japan Display is finished.

How did they think throwing good money after bad (sinking Japanese tax dollars into a joint venture of legacy conglomerates using old technology that has no more rent [in the economic sense], only to be bought out by the Chinese to steal trade secrets and all the workers get laid off anyway) was a good idea?
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Samsung is the only manufacturer that actually sells a consumer MicroLED product right now. So, it makes sense that Samsung will dominate MicroLED mobile displays. They're pretty much the goto OEM for all display tech and storage tech.
What Samsung sells is large panel mLED. It isn't the same as small panel mLED. Expertise in one area is no guarantee of expertise in another. Think LG and their large panel OLED TV's. They're great. Their small OLED phone panels... not so much. I don't doubt Samsung will be a big player in mLED, but I doubt they will dominate it like they did OLED. Samsung was primarily the driving force in OLED. mLED has numerous players vying to be a force in an arena with a fairly level playing field. None of those players want to be beholden to one vendor.
 
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MY_USERNAME

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2017
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This technology is what I’m really anticipating and hoping from Apple for the Watch and iPhone. The direct advantages being, it has a [higher resolution over OLED, increased brightness two/three times over OLED and improved color gamut.] In terms of displays, this is the ‘Next big thing.’

…and more energy efficient—meaning better battery life.
 
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MoreRumors?

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
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How much more thin you want it to be before it becomes less durable? I do like that it would be more energy efficient and offering better display over OLED.
 
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ROGmaster

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Apr 12, 2018
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What Samsung sells is large panel mLED. It isn't the same as small panel mLED. Expertise in one area is no guarantee of expertise in another. Think LG and their large panel OLED TV's. They're great. Their small OLED phone panels... not so much. I don't doubt Samsung will be a big player in mLED, but I doubt they will dominate it like they did OLED. Samsung was primarily the driving force in OLED. mLED has numerous players vying to be a force in an arena with a fairly level playing field. None of those players want to be beholden to one vendor.
Yeah because right now large microled screens are easier to build that smaller ones but you can be sure Samsung is working on adapting this tech for smartphones screens as well. They are currently the only ones showing and selling something that it's using microled tech, a very important detail.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
Yeah because right now large microled screens are easier to build that smaller ones but you can be sure Samsung is working on adapting this tech for smartphones screens as well. They are currently the only ones showing and selling something that it's using microled tech, a very important detail.
Samsung clearly won’t be the only ones in the future, another important detail. Apple wants to less their dependence on Samsung, and we don’t really know how far into the game Apple is.
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2004
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So since Apple bought bought LuxVue in order to make their own MicroLED displays, just how many MicroLED displays is Foxconn planning on selling to Apple?
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Why is Foxconn (an assembler) investing in display tech? Are they trying to build displays?
Foxconn isn't just an assembler. Foxconn is a contract manufacturer. They have mutiple subsidiaries involved in display tech.
Yeah because right now large microled screens are easier to build that smaller ones but you can be sure Samsung is working on adapting this tech for smartphones screens as well. They are currently the only ones showing and selling something that it's using microled tech, a very important detail.
As I said, I don't doubt Samsung will be a big player in mLED. They just won't be what they are in OLED. For a lot of OLED's history, Samsung essentially had no competition and it allowed them to dominate. That isn't true for mLED. Lots of players are vying for a seat at the mLED table... Apple being one of them.
 
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tridley68

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2014
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why not try their hand at micro led they gotta do something with all that cash they just unloaded from Apple.
 
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