Apple developing own screens using next-generation tech

A visitor uses her iPhone X to take a photo of Apple Park t-shirts at the new Apple Visitor Center in Cupertino. The company plans to develop its own new screen technology according to media reports. (Reuters)
Updated 20 March 2018
0

Apple developing own screens using next-generation tech

LONDON: Apple is developing its own MicroLED device displays and has made small numbers of the screens for testing, Bloomberg reported, in a move that could hurt Asian display suppliers to the US tech giant over the long-term.
MicroLED is a new display technology that has grabbed the attention of several tech firms. Screens using MicroLED are thinner, brighter, use less power and are more durable than the OLED displays that are increasingly being adopted for a variety of smart devices.
The new technology is however unproven and difficult to use, analysts said.
“It is not clear whether MicroLED will be better than the OLED displays Apple uses for its smartwatches. At this point, this seems to me that Apple wants to show off — it’s more of ‘look what we can do’ rather than a realistic alternative,” said Dongbu Securities analyst S.R. Kwon.
Apple is developing MicroLED screens at a secret plant in California in a project overseen by Lynn Youngs, who is in charge of iPhone and Apple Watch screen technology, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company aims to use the new technology in its wearable computers first, the report said, adding that it is unlikely to reach an iPhone for at least three to five years.
Apple declined to comment.
Shares in Asian display makers initially slid on the news on Monday but later pared losses. Shares in Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display ended the day between 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent lower.
Other tech giants looking at the technology include Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, Apple’s main contract manufacturer. It acquired US MicroLED display startup eLux Inc. last year through Sharp Corp. and other group units.
Sony Corp. started selling large display systems using the technology for corporate users last year, and Samsung Electronics unveiled a MicroLED TV this January.


Microsoft soars past $800 billion in value after bumper results

Updated 4 min 13 sec ago
0

Microsoft soars past $800 billion in value after bumper results

LONDON: Shares of Microsoft Corp. were set to open at a record high on Friday, after the company reported another blockbuster quarter, backed by growth in its legacy software business and Azure cloud computing services.
Shares of one of the technology world’s oldest and best-known names rose 4 percent to $108.50 in trading before the bell, potentially adding nearly $32 billion to a market capitalization that was already $802 billion at close on Thursday.
At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock after the results.
Helped by a boom in demand for cloud-based software, Microsoft has more than doubled in value since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive in 2014 and refocused the software behemoth on newer businesses.
While Microsoft’s core productivity and business processes unit, which includes the Office 365 software suite, rose 13.1 percent to $9.67 billion, revenue for the Azure cloud service jumped 89 percent.
“Based on the results, they were able to beat on all major metrics that people were focusing on. I don’t see anything that should raise an eyebrow of concern,” said Daniel Morgan, a portfolio manager at Synovus Trust who holds 418,716 Microsoft shares.
Microsoft has been investing heavily to bolster the fast-growing cloud business and catch up with market leader Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Web Services.
It also competes with Alphabet Inc, IBM and Alibaba.
“Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation,” Nadella said on a conference call on Thursday.
Analysts expect the investments to pay off in the long run and provide rich dividends to shareholders, allowing Microsoft to rival Apple Inc. and Amazon in the race to be the first company worth $1 trillion.
“Our view on MSFT is unchanged: the stock is our favorite large cap name and we expect MSFT to deliver 10-20% annual stock price appreciation for the next several years,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis wrote in a client note.
Of the 35 analysts covering the stock, 31 have a “buy” or higher rating, three are on “hold” and only one on “strong sell.”
“Microsoft has successfully come from behind to exceed Amazon’s cloud revenue, and that gap is only increasing in Microsoft’s favor,” Mark Sami, vice president at consultancy firm SPR said.
“I predict that Microsoft’s cloud market share will continue to grow and impress investors.”