Secret IMOD Mirasol Lab of Qualcomm Acquired by Apple in Taiwan
According to a report published in Bloomberg, Apple has taken over the Qualcomm lab and is operating it in secrecy to make their products "thinner, lighter and more energy-efficient." As per the report, the lab currently has 50 engineers recruited from the display company AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm, previous owners of the facility. Although there is no signage to be seen at the building, but Bloomberg said that the reception area now has an Apple logo and an iMac, "displaying Apple's standard visitor registration screen." The receptionist or the security guards refused to comment on the building's ownership but the government records state that the building has been registered in the name of Apple Taiwan and the building staff were seen wearing Apple identity badges.
It has been speculated by Bloomberg that Apple want to have full control over the development process and only outsource some parts of the work to smaller production houses such as Innolux Corp or AU Optronics of Taiwan thus reducing their dependence on the technology developed by LD Display Co., Japan Display Inc., Samsung Electronics and Sharp Corp. The display screens used on Macs and iOS uses LCD screens and Apple Watch uses OLED. According to the report, the Apple lab is "where Qualcomm tried to develop to develop its own displays called Mirasol."
Apple Insider says that if Apple indeed did acquire Mirasol development from the cash-strapped Qualcomm, the company was forced to sell its less performing businesses under shareholder pressure, there may also be a connection to Apple's recent purchase of a company in San Jose, small chip fab that was previously used by Maxim integrated Products to develop MEMS components.