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Universal Display Under Pressure Amid Report Apple Wants To Develop Its Own Screens

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Universal Display Under Pressure Amid Report Apple Wants To Develop Its Own Screens
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For the first time ever, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may be looking to design and produce displays for its devices at a secret manufacturing facility in California, Bloomberg reports.

What Happened

Apple's secret manufacturing facility is testing screens for use in future devices as part of the company's goal of significantly investing in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg. If reports are accurate, Apple's internally-made MicroLED screens could displace its current provider for screens, Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED).

Why It's Important

As it stands now, every smartphone maker is able to buy an OLED or LCD screen from companies like Universal Display, Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies told Bloomberg. But in the highly competitive smartphone market, Apple's iPhone and other devices could stand out in the space by controlling its own in-house MicroLED technology.

Universal Display's stock fell more than 9 percent early Monday morning.

What's Next

Apple's push to make its own display technology in-house is in no way guaranteed, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. By designing the technology itself, Apple could "run into insurmountable hurdles" that's already an expensive initiative. Apple's facility in California is too small for mass-production, so ultimately it may have no choice but to outsource production.

Nevertheless, the project is "big enough to get through the engineering builds [and] lets us keep everything in-house during the development stages," a person told Bloomberg.

Shares of Universal Display traded around $115.60 at time of publication, down 6.7 percent.

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