Originally Posted by Sevenfeet
Good points. But I could easily see Apple saying to a vendor, "well we're getting our current screens for $18" (like your example, just a number). "If we do a $30 screen, we might have to charge an additional $50 to the retail price just to keep our proper margins. Also, you tell me that the failure rate of your product in 30 days is 2% while our current product is .06%" So if we keep our profit margin where the street expects, we may shave off 500,000 unit sales this year as some customers choose the cheaper older Touch or (worse) choose a Zune. And given the projected failure rate, our warranty costs for this part are projected to more than triple, which eats into margins as well."
All I'm saying is that we have no idea all the metrics that went into Apple's decision not to go OLED with this cycle of product but I can speculate on some reasonable theories. Again, Sony and Microsoft may be looking strictly to poach market share by going with a product feature that is really sexy but makes the product that much unprofitable. Given how entrenched Apple's marketshare and mindshare is, they might figure it's the only way in the game until they have enough critical mass to force suppliers to give them better prices. Apple's investments in the Flash RAM markets is a classic example of a company who gets far better prices than anyone else due to the sheer number of pieces than can order and their ability to pre-pay for large shipments of product months in advance. The Palm Pre launch is a classic example where Apple's 16g iPhone 3G was the same price as the 8g Pre at launch. Apple's component costs including things like lithium batteries, Flash RAM and LCD screens were lower than Palm's.
Nice to read about your background. Pleased to meet you.
I can't argue with what you're saying, because it's possible too. This is one reason why I was somewhat disappointed in that Apple didn't have OLEDs this year, but I wasn't too disappointed, or surprised. I was hoping for OLEDs, because when they work well, they will be a very good addition.
But going to an OLED screen is a proposition that manufacturers must consider in light of how their product is used.
If a product is mostly a phone, it's likely that even with some multimedia features, the phone won't have the screen on for too long during the day. So lifetime, and battery consumption aren't much of an issue.
But if the phone (or player) is going to be heavily used for browsing, games, books, programs, then it might be on for several hours each day. That's different.
Also, if it will be used for high quality video games etc, that must be taken into account as well.
If used in quick spurts, an OLED screen is dandy. but if used for long times, and with bright images, the screen heats up more, and lifetime is shortened. It gets dimmer over time.
Heat and lifetime are proportionally related. (O)LEDs can be run much brighter than they are, but their lifetime drops significantly, so max brightness is limited to a fraction of where it can go.
The way LED and OLED life is measured is different from the way it's measured with other displays (except for plasma, which is sorta rated a similar way). most displays are rated until dead. But (O)LEDs are rated for either a 25% drop in brightness, or a 50% drop in brightness. Without knowing which is being used for a particular screen, we can't tell how it rates against another screen, no matter what it is.
So if an (O)LED screen is rated for 15,000 use, what does that mean? If it's for 25% drop, it could have a 25,000 life at 50% drop. but if it's rated for a 50% drop at 15,000 hours, then it might actually be 9,000 at 25%. There are standards, but they aren't equally applied.
but these ratings are at some specific temperature, which has to be known, because the life ratings change as we change the test temps.
That's why I, and others, wonder about some of the numbers we see for these screens.
And has been mentioned the colors age differently. Right now, it's the green that ages the quickest, followed by the blue. So how is the screen rated? Is it an average of the colors, or is it the shortest lived, or the longest lived?
Meanwhile efficiency is increasing for all types of LEDs at a quick rate. As I mentioned earlier, it's expected to be twice as great in a year. That's major. Not only will battery usage drop, but the display won't get as warm at any given brightness, which either means longer lifetime, or brighter displays, or a bit of both. They are also increasing the life of the green color significantly.
I would assume that if Apple chooses to go OLED next year with a newer and better display, MS will too.