Foxconn Investing Heavily in microLED Production To Secure Future iPhone Display Orders

Posted by Rajesh Pandey on Apr 30, 2019 in iPhone News, News

iPhone 8 - Edge-to-Edge Display

In a bid to secure future microLED orders from Apple, Foxconn is looking to further invest in microLED production. Three of Foxconn’s subsidiaries — Advanced Optoelectronic Technology (AOT), Epileds Technologies, and Marketech International — have been increasing their microLED production capacity.

Apple switched to OLED panels with the iPhone X in 2017. In 2018, it launched two new iPhones with an OLED display and one with an LCD panel. It is expected to follow the same pattern this year as well before entirely switching to OLED panels for its 2020 iPhone lineup. Rumors about Apple switching to microLED display panels on iPhones have been circulating for a long time now though.

The Foxconn Group has continued to deepen its deployments in micro LED technology through a multi-pronged approach in order to win micro LED-backlit display orders from Apple for its next-generation iPhone devices, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report.

It is still unclear as to when — if at all — Apple plans on switching to microLED display panels on iPhones. While microLED display panels do offer better brightness, contrast, and do not degrade unlike OLED panels over a period of time, they are yet to be used in smartphones. There are multiple reasons behind this including the fact that they are expensive to manufacture and their yield is still quite poor.

Our Take

Before Apple ends up releasing an iPhone with a microLED display, I’d expect it to use the display technology on the Apple Watch where such a move would make more sense. Foxconn did not have any OLED production facility which led to it losing out on OLED display orders from Apple. The company does not want to make the same mistake with microLED panels which is why it is heavily investing to expand its production facility.

Rumors point to Apple developing microLED panels for its AR-based headset, though again without any concrete leaks, it is difficult to say as to which will be the first product from the Cupertino company to make use of microLED panels.

[Via DigiTimes]

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