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Apple's secret new facility may be designing smartphone displays

Apple may be looking into producing their own displays for smartphones and tablets according to a rumour circulating that the company has set up a secret new laboratory in Taiwan.

Bloomberg has reported that a new facility just outside of Taipei in Longtan is already home to 50 engineers who have begun working on new projects for the company. The building being used was previously owned by Qualcomm and Apple has recruited talent from both Qualcomm and AU Optronics to staff the facility.

A number of projects are already underway including the development of new screens for future iPhone and iPad projects. These screens will be thinner, brighter, more energy efficient and will weigh less than the current screens the company receives from third party companies such as Sharp, LG, and Samsung. Apple may be using this new space to help transition from LCD screens to OLED screens which will deliver better blacks and performance. The iPhone 7 and iPad Air 3 might even incorporate these new OLED displays into their designs.

As a business move this makes a lot of sense for Apple because it would allow the company to depend less on third party manufacturers and gain even greater control over the supply chain. If the company can design its own screens, it will allow their production to be outsourced to smaller companies at a much lower cost.

Apple is already looking to hire more engineers to work at the facility. Foxconn, whose factories are currently responsible for producing a large number of iPhones and iPads, is located within close proximity and this could help increase the volume of devices Apple is able to manufacture.

LG recently announced that it would also be building a new factory tailored towards the production of displays for mobile devices. The Korean firm plans to invest $8.7 billion to produce OLED displays for phones, televisions, smartwatches and automotive displays.

Apple's decision to open a new facility might possibly be a reaction to this or perhaps even a move the company has been planning for some time.

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.