Originally Posted by AppleInsider
First off, Microsoft gave the Zune HD a new OLED display. OLED is an interesting new technology that uses a layer of electroluminescent organic compounds, rather than the inorganic materials used in traditional LCDs, to produce an image. OLED panels don't require a backlight, so they can render true blacks and provide a higher contrast ratio.
I actually have a little background in this, so let me take a whack at it...
Traditional LCD screens produce a color image by selectively filtering down a white light source, the backlight. As the name implies, the backlight lies at the back of the screen, and fires forward toward the viewer. Most backlights use CCFL tubes, while those on high-end televisions sometimes use LEDs instead.
Of the total amount of light produced, only a tiny fraction makes it through the entire screen. The filtering starts by removing over 1/2 of the light that's not polarized in the right direction. It then flows through a series of colored filters, LCD shutters and another polarizer on the front. In a typical display, only about 10% of the light at the back of the screen reaches the viewer.
LED's produce light directly on their front surface in the color you want, so almost 100% of the light they produce reaches your eye. Modern devices are more efficient than a CCFL as well, so the amount of energy needed to produce any given image is much lower for LEDs than LCDs. Unfortunately, traditional LEDs are fairly large, and not really suitable for television-like displays.
Into this void steps the OLED, which uses a printable technology that can scale down to useful sizes. Although the OLED is not efficient as the traditional LED, the overall end-to-end performance is still much better than an LCD of the same brightness. OLED screens require about 1/2 as much power as an LCD to display an all-white image (the most efficient image one an LCD can display) and are generally much more efficient as most images contain colors or graduations in brightness.
There, that is an accurate description of the technologies involved.
However, today's OLED panels are much dimmer than standard issue LCDs
No, SOME of today's OLED panels are. Others are much brigher. Seeing as you didn't actually see the Zune and based your entire article on supposition from a photo series on Engaget, let's turn to someone that actually has seen the new device, Ars:
3.3 inch OLED screen: Sure, we knew all about it, but how does it look? With a unit in our grubby little hands, we can confidently say it looks pretty damn good. Colors are saturated and the screen is terrifically brightso much so that even my dad (!) commented after seeing the device begin playing its demo movie.
Everything I've heard states in normal use it is much brighter than the iPhone. It is entirely possible that it has problems outdoors, likely even, but the iPhone is hardly perfect here either.
There are other problems with OLED. They don't last long,
They last more than long enough for a device that is essentially disposable over a period of 2 to 3 years.
And despite the power savings attributed to OLED's backlight-free design, OLEDs still use more power than LCD displays most of the time because the OLED technology consumes power based on how bright the image it is displaying is. Essentially, OLED is the backlight.
This statement is absolutely false. OLED screens use, less power than an LCD of the same size and brightness. Period. Can I put numbers to this? Sure:http://displaydaily.com/2009/07/09/w...-tvs-be-green/
This post suggests they will use about 30% of the power of the equivalent CCFL backlit LCD, like the one in the iPhone.
"Considering it's got an energy-saving OLED screen, we were disappointed with the battery life of the Jet. Perhaps the powerful processor puts some extra drain on the juice, but the promised 180 minutes of talk time and 250 hours' standby translated into a barely a day of moderate use."
And they guessed it was the processor, which strikes me as just as informed as your guess. Of course, it could be neither of these things.
If you're wondering why Apple, which sells tens of millions of mobile devices per year
Perhaps it's because Apple sells millions of devices a year, and current production lines can't handle that load. Whereas MS, which sells perhaps 1/20th the number, doesn't present any particular strain.
Your knowledge of the OLED market appears as limited as your knowledge of its technology.