According to a new report citing sources who are familiar with the company’s plans, Apple has opened a “secret laboratory” in Taiwan to develop new display technologies. At least 50 engineers are employed at the facility, and are working to build improved displays for iPad and iPhone.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has recruited from Qualcomm Inc., which used to own the building, and local display maker AU Optronics Corp. Apple started operating the lab this year as it has a goal to make products lighter, thinner, more energy-efficient and brighter.
Apple is believed to be working on more advanced LCD displays, as well as OLED displays that do not require a backlight and are thinner. New rumours have claimed that Apple is interested in ushering OLED displays to iPhone in the coming years.
By developing its own display technologies, Apple will be able to minimize its reliance on suppliers such as Sharp, Japan display, LG Display and Samsung. Bloomberg adds that the Apple can instead develop the production processes in-house and outsource to smaller manufacturers like Taiwan’s Innolux Corp or AU Optronics.
Recent rumours have indicated that Apple will remove the headphone jack from iPhone 7 in order to make it thinner than prior models. It would also have to reduce the size of its new 3D Touch displays to achieve that; therefore, developing them in-house would make a lot of sense for Apple.
Apple is still looking for engineers for its new plant, which does not appear like an Apple facility from the outside.
Bloomberg describes that there is a short driveway, half a dozen steps and sliding glass doors which lead to a counter and a receptionist in front of the Apple logo on the wall. The only visible indicators that Apple resides there are the Apple logo and an iMac showing Apple’s standard visitor registration screen.