Apple brings more components in-house as it eases reliance on Samsung and LG

Tech giant will begin with making screens for its Apple Watch

Apple is planning to start using its own custom displays in mobile devices as early as 2024, an effort to reduce its reliance on technology partners like Samsung and LG and bring more components in-house.

The company aims to begin by swapping out the display in the highest-end Apple Watches by the end of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The screens upgrade the current OLED – organic light-emitting diode – standard to a technology called microLED, and Apple plans to eventually bring the displays to other devices, including the iPhone.

The changes are part of a sweeping effort to replace Apple supplies with homegrown parts, an undertaking that will give the company more control over the design and capabilities of its products. The tech giant has dropped Intel chips in its Mac computers in favour of in-house designs and plans to do the same with the key wireless components in its iPhones.


A representative for California-based Apple declined to comment.

Apple’s move will deal a blow to Samsung and LG Display, the two main suppliers of the watch’s screens

Samsung is the world’s most advanced manufacturer of displays, and has been producing its own version of microLED for TVs. But by bringing the screens in-house, Apple could in the long run better customise its devices and maintain a stronger hold on its supply chain.

Apple’s screen switch has been under way for years. The move will deal a blow to Samsung and LG Display, the two main suppliers of the watch’s screens.

LG Display shares fell as much as 4.1% on Wednesday after the news. Shares of Samsung, meanwhile, pared most of its gains during morning trading in Seoul. Apple shares were little changed in New York on Wednesday morning.

Apple’s project is being led by Wei Chen, who runs Apple’s display technology group within Johny Srouji’s Hardware Technologies division. The company has begun testing the microLED displays on an update to the Apple Watch Ultra, its new high-end sports watch.

Compared with current Apple Watches, the next-generation displays are designed to offer brighter, more vibrant colours and the ability to be better seen at an angle. The displays make content appear to be painted on top of the glass, according to people who have seen them, who asked not to be identified because the project is still under wraps.

The microLED displays will be Apple’s first screens designed and developed entirely in-house. Samsung and LG declined to comment.