Apple’s New Lab and the Future of Screens


Apple has reportedly opened a new laboratory in Taiwan dedicated to new display technology, according to Bloomberg and other sources.

If the reports are correct, the facility will host 50 engineers, along with other workers, all tasked with making screens thinner and more energy-efficient. Apple is actively hiring candidates with at least three years of experience in developing display panels, including design and lamination, with an emphasis on quality control processes such as SPC and failure analysis.

As with other major technology firms, Apple is in a constant race to iterate its products. Screen technology is particularly important; if you’re a mobile-device maker, you’re not competitive unless your devices boast stratospheric pixel density. Although Apple hit that level some time ago with its Retina Display, the company still feels pressure to evolve its offerings.

Improving displays isn’t a matter of squeezing as many pixels as possible into a small space; there’s also a collective push to ensure that screens only sip battery power. Depending on how the technology progresses, the industry could also see bendable screens at some point soon—which may come as a relief to those users who crack their phones on a regular basis.

Tech pros interested in working with smaller displays (and mobile-device hardware in general) should familiarize themselves with not only the underlying technology, but also the production and quality control techniques that allow companies to produce millions of smartphones and tablets every month. You don’t even need to work at a large firm like Apple to find that knowledge useful; if you’re part of a hardware-centric startup, awareness of best production practices is a good way to avoid ending up as yet another failed Kickstarter project.