Apple is in the process of researching and developing new display technology for the iPhone and iPad, and it is apparently being done from an incognito location in Taiwan. The facility is supposedly looking into adopting OLED technology for Apple’s mobile devices, which would allow them to save power and become even thinner.
The existence of the lab was revealed by Bloomberg, who spoke to several sources close to the matter. Located in Northern Taiwan, the lab is staffed by about 50 engineers with their support staff. Apple had apparently recruited from display production facilities in the area like AU Optronics Corp and Qualcomm Inc. Interestingly, the build was previously owned by Qualcomm.
Work at the lab is focused on developing more advanced versions of the LCD display currently in use by the iPhone and iPad. The goal is to make displays that are thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient; although it was also reported that Apple is interested in moving on to OLED technology as well.
At the moment, Apple relies on manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, and LG for a steady supply of displays. This new facility should allow the company to avoid simply buying the displays, and instead outsource the production of their own designs. The benefit of this is that Cupertino would be able to save a little on production costs.
The secret lab itself is kept rather low-key; which is unusual for Apple’s normal opulence. Bloomberg’s visit to the location revealed an unmarked building that could have belonged to just about anyone. The only clue that Apple has anything to do with the facility is a logo behind the reception desk and an iMac with Apple’s standard visitor registration screen.
Apple hasn’t been at the lab for very long, and Bloomberg’s sources say that it was only opened earlier this year. Which would explain why it took so long for people to figure out where it was.