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Apple Recently Visited With Taiwanese Makers of Thinner and Brighter MicroLED and MiniLED Displays

Apple representatives attended the Touch Taiwan display industry convention in Taipei this week, holding private meetings with Taiwanese display makers AU Optronics and Epistar, according to the Economic Daily News. The report claims Apple held the meetings to learn more about each company's development of next-generation display technologies MicroLED and MiniLED, suitable for future generations of iPhones and Apple Watches. As those names suggest, both technologies utilize arrays of very tiny LEDs. In May, AU Optronics received a Best in Show award at the Display Week 2018 convention in Los Angeles for its multiple advanced display technologies, including the "world's highest resolution and full color TFT driven 8-inch micro LED display technology," according to the company's press release. Apple is said to be most interested in MicroLED, as MiniLED is described as more of a transitionary technology that it may skip. Apple has been exploring MicroLED displays since at least 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. In 2015, Apple reportedly opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the technology, but has since shifted the efforts to Santa Clara, California, near its headquarters. In addition to AU Optronics and Epistar, Apple has reportedly collaborated with its contract manufacturer TSMC to develop methods of mass producing MicroLED panels. Apple also reportedly held talks with another Taiwanese company PlayNitrite, which has developed its own MicroLED solution PixeLED. MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages