Apple has reportedly opened a new engineering lab in Taiwan tasked with developing new display technologies for its various product lines including the iPhone and iPad.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Apple has at least 50 employees working at the nondescript location in Longtan, many of which were hired from local display makers AU Optronics and Qualcomm. Sources say Apple purchased the facility from Qualcomm.
The goal of the operation is to develop displays that are thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy efficient than the LCDs it currently uses. Engineers are said to be working on more advanced LCD panels as well as OLED panels that are even thinner because they don't require a backlight.
Just last month, it was rumored that Samsung was urging Apple to adopt OLED technology in the iPhone 8 (notably, not next year's iPhone 7 or 2017's refined iPhone 7s). Of course, as a supplier, I'm sure Samsung's idea was for Apple to buy components from them rather than go off and manufacture their own but I digress.
As you've likely surmised, developing your own display rather than relying on a supplier - especially at Apple's scale - could save the company loads of cash. It will also reduce Apple's reliance on suppliers which in turn reduces overall risk (remember the disaster of a partnership that was GT Advanced Technologies?).