No more Samsung.
Apple is reportedly prepared to replace two of its long-time iPhone component partners with its in-house displays that could use microLED technology, bringing with it the possibility of a future iPhone screen technology upgrade.
According to a new report, Apple is in the process of transitioning the iPhone to a new type of display, abandoning partners Samsung and LG Display in the process. According to the leak, the transition will occur “eventually,” with Apple testing the waters first with the Apple Watch.
Bloomberg (opens in a new tab) reports that Apple is eager to “reduce its reliance on technology partners like Samsung and LG,” as it has with other components. Apple has already moved away from Intel for its Mac chips, and instead uses its custom silicon. Additionally, the company is designing its cellular modems to enable the removal of Qualcomm’s chips.
Apple is not only planning to switch suppliers but also to upgrade its technology. The company is reportedly transitioning to microLED technology, which should enable displays with brighter illumination and more accurate color reproduction. According to one source cited by Bloomberg, the displays appear to have been painted on.
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reports that Apple has been working on the switch since 2018, with Wei Chen, the leader of Apple’s display technology group, in charge of the project. Chen’s team is part of the Hardware Technologies division, which, under the direction of Johny Srouji, has overseen the transition away from Intel.
Bloomberg has not provided a definitive timeline for the iPhone’s transition to in-house displays, but the Apple Watch is expected to do so in the coming year. Bloomberg reports that the wearable will also adopt microLED technology.
The iPhone 15 will arrive too soon for this switch, as will the iPhone 16. However, if the Apple Watch’s transition is successful, Apple may switch to in-house displays for the iPhone 17 in 2025.
That is not to say that the iPhone 15 will be devoid of features, of course. The unannounced phone is expected to adopt USB-C, and the Dynamic Island is rumored to drop in the lineup. It is currently exclusive to Apple’s most expensive iPhones, but the company is rumored to add it to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus this year. In the meantime, the iPhone 15 Pro is anticipated to receive a new processor and haptic buttons.