At least 50 engineers and other workers are busy developing new display technologies in Apple’s new production laboratory in Longtan, which is located in northern Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter speaking with Bloomberg.
Apple has allegedly recruited talent from local display makers AU Optronics and Qualcomm, which used to own the building, according to the sources. The new laboratory began operating this year with the aim of developing more advanced versions of the liquid-crystal display Apple currently uses in its iOS devices and Macs.
Also, sources say Apple is keen to move to OLED displays, as they are thinner and don’t require a backlight.
By developing display technologies in-house, Apple is able to reduce reliance on the technology developed by its current suppliers – Samsung, LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display – and could outsource the manufacturing to smaller players such as AU Optronics or Innolux.
During their visit to the facility, Bloomberg’s reporters were not able to obtain information about the building’s owner and the like, but the Apple logo on the wall clearly indicated the company’s presence. Also, Bloomberg has found that Apple amended its Taiwan registration in October, and the form now gives the Longtan address as the headquarters of Taiwan Apple LLC. It had previously been owned by Qualcomm, which had been trying to develop its own Mirasol displays.