Foxconn increasing development of microLED to gain future iPhone display orders

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 30
A future version of the iPhone could use microLED technology for its display, with a supply chain report suggesting that manufacturing partner Foxconn is trying to gain orders from Apple for a future iPhone using the bright and high resolution technology.

The iPhone XS and XS Max use OLED panels, which could be replaced by microLED
The iPhone XS and XS Max use OLED panels, which could be replaced by microLED


Foxconn and its subsidiaries work closely with Apple on the iPhone and production of other models, and is always keen to extend its work with the iPhone producer in new areas. In the latest report, Foxconn is hoping to take on orders for microLED-backlit displays.

According to the Economic Daily News as reported by Digitimes, Foxconn is taking a multi-pronged approach to securing the orders. Subsidiaries Advanced Optoelectronic Technology, Epileds Technologies, and Marketech International are working to increase their capacities for microLED production.

AOT is capable of creating LED backlight units for 8K-resolution displays and "flip-chip" packaging for mini LEDs, but it is also developing microLEDs for a variety of different applications. LED epitaxial wafer and LED chip producer Epileds is a prominent producer of RGB mini LEDs, with the RGB element essential to furthering the development of microLEDs.

Marketech, an LCD equipment provider, recently completed a collaboration with Imec, a nano-electronic firm based in Belgium, which resulted in the development of testing for chip implantation equipment used for microLED production. The partnership has already produced orders for the mass transfers of LED chips.

MicroLED offers considerable advancements over LCD and OLED technologies, as each LED is part of a pixel, allowing each color to be self-illuminating without requiring a backlight when used directly, or for highly regionalized lighting when used for backlighting. This can save power in devices, as well as producing brighter displays and higher resolution screens.

Apple has explored the possibility of working with companies over microLED technology, which could be used in both iPhones and the Apple Watch. Apple also acquired display producer LuxVue, which owns patents relating to microLED usage, and operates a secret facility believed to be used for developing microLED.

Digitimes is an accurate reporter on the doings of suppliers in China. It is less so in regards to Apple's specific plans. Tuesday's report is more about the supply chain, than any specific timing or feature on the iPhone.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    Ooh, digitimes.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Is it possible that Apple will use this technology for Glasses? Is microLED capable to build transparent display?
  • Reply 3 of 6
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,989member
    Apple,Samsung,TSMC,Foxconn.LD,Chinsese and others doing R&D for microLED. Whoever has ability to mass produce at high quality will win the market share.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 293member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,Samsung,TSMC,Foxconn.LD,Chinsese and others doing R&D for microLED. Whoever has ability to mass produce at high quality will win the market share.
    I think you meant "LG", not "LD", "Chinese", not "Chinsese".   Anyway, from what I've read, microLED's biggest hurdle to mass production is size.  I don't think anyone's close to making them in sizes sufficient for a smartphone.  Therefore, when microLEDs are ready, you'll first see them in smart watches.  And Apple has yet to do that - so I think we're still years away from microLEDs being used in smart phones.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    There’s always the next big thing just over the horizon isn’t there? OLED is sooooo ancient. MicroLED is going to blow everything else away, right? Are there any shipping products that use microLED yet?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    I really really really hope they can do it. I don't really want MicroLED for phones, but for 4K & 8K TVs. Right now, business are having problem shrinking MicroLED, which is why companies like Samsung are always displaying the huge Wall display prototypes. If Foxconn can find a way to shrink it to the phone level, that would be awesome
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