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
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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.


UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

Updated 21 March 2019
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UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

  • The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK
  • The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore

DUBAI: Network International, the UAE payments processor, has committed to a London IPO next month in what would be the UK’s first big share sale of the year.
The company intends to have a free float of at least 25 percent and admission to the London Stock Exchange is expected to take place in April, Network International said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK where there is still no clarity around whether Britain will leave the EU or not at the end of the month.
VPS Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, owns 51 percent of Network International while Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic jointly own the rest.
The share sale will be a key test of investor demand for new listings in London after a subdued 2018 across most European markets.
“Volatility has continued in recent months, driven by the uncertainty around trade between the US and China, the wider geopolitical climate and the potential end of the current bull run,” said Peter Whelan, partner and UK IPO Lead at PwC in a recent report.
“We are seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for an IPO in 2019 despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations which have clearly impacted IPO activity on the London market.”
The payment processor reported earnings of $298 million last year according to its website, up from $262 million a year earlier. It does not disclose net income figures.
The company handles digital payments across the Middle East, which generate three quarters of its total earnings.
Last year it processed some $40 billion in payments for more than 65,000 merchants.
Its key markets in the region include the UAE and Jordan it says that Saudi Arabia offers “significant opportunities.” It also offers services in 40 African countries with Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa being its most important segments on the continent.