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AMOLED display seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

post #1 of 78
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Given their high cost and a lack of supply in the 10.1-inch size, AMOLED displays are highly unlikely to be a part of Apple's forthcoming touchscreen tablet, a new report has concluded.

After speaking to industry sources, Ars Technica has made the case against an AMOLED tablet. The site spoke with Barry Young, managing director of the OLED Association, who said that there is "no real production of 10.1-inch panels."

The report, issued Monday, specifically disputes a claim last week that Apple had cornered the market on virtually all LCD and OLED screens sized at 10.1 inches. While the LCD component may prove true, placing an active matrix OLED display on the device isn't likely in 2010.

At most, Young told Ars, Apple would be able to procure 150,000 AMOLED display panels per month. And all of those would be coming from the only company that produces such displays in volume, Samsung SMD. OLED makers are currently straining to meet supply for panels in the 3.5-inch to 4.5-inch range.

"There may be the slimmest of chances that we could see an AMOLED Apple tablet announced at the end of this month, with commercial availability later in the second half of the year when a combination of premium pricing and increased fab capacity from LG and Samsung could make it possible to meet demand," the report said. "But is just speculation compounded with more speculation, though, so don't hold your breath for it to happen."

Last summer, rumors first began to arise that the tablet could sport an OLED screen for its touch panel display. One report said an OLED-based tablet would cost between $1,500 and $1,700 to build based on current component prices.

An OLED-based tablet would likely cost about $2,000 at retail, which is much higher than the sub-$1,000 price expected by many Wall Street analysts.

OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, deliver color pictures without the need for a backlight. They consume less energy and provide a superior picture. Some smaller portable devices, such as Google's Nexus One and Microsoft's Zune HD, employ them for display.
post #2 of 78
I am sticking my bet on OLED. If I lose I believe I will owe someone a penny.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 78
Thank god~!
IMHO,
NO OLED = WIN
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post #4 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

Thank god~!
IMHO,
NO OLED = WIN

In what sense?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 78
Oh, we should have heard something about that for sure....

P.S. The only evident OLED advantage is energy efficiency. Since when is Apple concerned for energy efficiency?

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post #6 of 78
That's assuming the tablet will come with a 10-inch screen. It's no coincidence that at CES Ballmer showed three prototypes of varying sizes from other manufacturers. The competition is unsure of which direction Apple will take.

I have often argued against Apple's next move being the introduction of a 10-inch tablet on account of such a device, regardless of the technology used, would be significantly more expensive than a tablet based around a 5-inch or 7-inch screen. Cost does matter, even if an Apple logo is on this thing. To begin with, this device is supposedly Apple's response to the netbook form factor which has been popular because of a combination of portability and price. Bring out a device priced not that far from a MacBook and you've already failed in a key area if netbooks are your target. Besides, if for about the same money you can buy a full-function laptop, why would you opt for the tablet? With a 10-inch screen portability would not be that much better and in terms of what you could do with the device, it would be more limited, being as it sounds like it will be running an OS more closely aligned with the iPhone than a MacBook.

So the issue of which technology Apple's next touch-screen product will employ is very much in play. If anything, pointing out how ridiculously expensive OLED would be in the 10-inch size merely illustrates how illogical it would be for Apple to go in that direction at this time.

Anything is possible but all those rumours based around a 10-inch screen, I suspect, is a case of Apple "leaking" misinformation to disorient the competition. Looks like it worked.
post #7 of 78
I can't even believe some people gave the OLED screen any possibility in it coming out.

I guess some people just do not know the current state of OLED screens manufacturing.
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

That's assuming the tablet will come with a 10-inch screen. It's no coincidence that at CES Ballmer showed three prototypes of varying sizes from other manufacturers. The competition is unsure of which direction Apple will take.

I have often argued against Apple's next move being the introduction of a 10-inch tablet on account of such a device, regardless of the technology used, would be significantly more expensive than a tablet based around a 5-inch or 7-inch screen. Cost does matter, even if an Apple logo is on this thing. To begin with, this device is supposedly Apple's response to the netbook form factor which has been popular because of a combination of portability and price. Bring out a device priced not that far from a MacBook and you've already failed in a key area if netbooks are your target. Besides, if for about the same money you can buy a full-function laptop, why would you opt for the tablet? With a 10-inch screen portability would not be that much better and in terms of what you could do with the device, it would be more limited, being as it sounds like it will be running an OS more closely aligned with the iPhone than a MacBook.

So the issue of which technology Apple's next touch-screen product will employ is very much in play. If anything, pointing out how ridiculously expensive OLED would be in the 10-inch size merely illustrates how illogical it would be for Apple to go in that direction at this time.

Anything is possible but all those rumours based around a 10-inch screen, I suspect, is a case of Apple "leaking" misinformation to disorient the competition. Looks like it worked.

Personally, I would almost like a bit larger screen for this device, maybe 12 inches, for the kind of screen real estate needed for webpages, movies, and especially word productivity suites. This is a laptop replacement as far as I can see, and as such a larger screen size necessary.
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post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

I guess some people just do not know the current state of OLED screens manufacturing.

That would be MOST of us. If you're one of the people with genuine knowledge, please share it. (Quoting ARS doesn't count).
post #10 of 78
Wow this is getting kind of stale.

Whatever you write this week, Ill find someone "on the inside" who will say the opposite next week. Fantastic reporting.
"One who forms a judgement on any point but cannot explain it clearly, might as well never have thought at all on the subject." Pericles
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"One who forms a judgement on any point but cannot explain it clearly, might as well never have thought at all on the subject." Pericles
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post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Personally, I would almost like a bit larger screen for this device, maybe 12 inches, for the kind of screen real estate needed for webpages, movies, and especially word productivity suites. This is a laptop replacement as far as I can see, and as such a larger screen size necessary.

Or maybe even a big-assed table. Microsoft has you covered

But I understand it's kind of tough on the lap.
post #12 of 78
Whether one likes it or not, the best screen for viewing in in-direct bright light, e.g., sunny day outdoors, indoors near a window, etc., is on a glossy back-lit. Non-glossy back-lits are second.

AMOLED's are nearly invisible in bright light and are notedly atrocious no matter how much one tries to position the monitor to reduce reflection in these situations.

Other types of monitors lie in between.

Walking around with AMOLED display would be a nightmare.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I am sticking my bet on OLED. If I lose I believe I will owe someone a penny.

No, no, no. I believe your original post on this topic assured us that if it wasn't OLED
you'd be eating your hat . . .
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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post #14 of 78
What a crazy prediction. <sarcasm> Other things we don’t need an article to tell us…

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• 3mm x 5ft display seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

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post #15 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Personally, I would almost like a bit larger screen for this device, maybe 12 inches, for the kind of screen real estate needed for webpages, movies, and especially word productivity suites. This is a laptop replacement as far as I can see, and as such a larger screen size necessary.

I don't agree that the tablet should be a laptop replacement. That's exactly the mistake made with netbooks. As substitutes for a larger laptop or even a desktop machine, the netbooks are horrible. I'm a Mac user, have been for years, but when I went on vacation last summer I needed an inexpensive way to store a ton of video data from my hybrid HD camera. So I bought a netbook and for what I intended, it worked great. As a browser while I was vacationing, it was likewise handy. But thank God the netbook with its cramped keyboard, 8.9-inch screen, sluggish processor, and weak GPU, isn't my main computer.

Instead of bringing out a tablet that is supposed to be a laptop replacement, bring out a tablet that does a terrific job with specific tasks. Would reading off of a screen in the 5-7 range be bad? I would argue not. Would watching moves on a handheld in that range work? I would imagine very well. Games are fun already on the Touch so no problem playing them on a larger device, even if it were less than a 10-inch unit.

I don't think many grasp just how enormous a difference there would be between the current Touch and a device sporting a screen in the 5-inch to 7-inch range. As for what you would do with such a device, I would argue you'd do pretty much what is already being done with the Touch, only on a bigger device browsing, reading, playing games, and watching movies would be that much more enjoyable. Trying to come up with a tablet that goes much further, well that's just the sort of miscalculation I would expect from a Microsoft or any of Apple's hardware competitors. I expect better from Apple. I expect a product that works very well and doesn't try to offer functionality for which it's ill-suited. To me, at this time, that rules out a 10-inch tablet.
post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

P.S. The only evident OLED advantage is energy efficiency. Since when Apple is concerned for energy efficiency?

Apple is very interested in energy efficiency, since that directly translates into improved battery run time for portables, and fewer thermal management problems for desktops. Apple's public statements on the subject go back at least to the switch to Intel from PowerPC, which The Steve repeatedly characterized as having a better watts to megahertz relationship.

However the popular belief that OLED displays have lower power consumption isn't entirely correct. Conventional displays have a constant power draw from the backlight (for a given brightness setting). OLED displays need varying power depending on whether they're showing lighter or darker content. When the screen is darker their power consumption is lower, but when it's lighter they actually use more power due to the OLED's lower lumens/watt efficiency.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Apple is very interested in energy efficiency

Well, neither iPhone, nor Magic Mouse support your point. While Apple's notebook line apparently does.

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #18 of 78
If this were another iPhone-sized device, OLED would be a bigger deal. But I imagine this new device is going to have plenty of real-estate under the hood for an enlarged battery. We already know they can get everything needed to run an iPhone-like device into an area 3x5x.5 inches - fitting in a double or triple-sized battery size shouldn't be a big deal.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Oh, we should have heard something about that for sure....

P.S. The only evident OLED advantage is energy efficiency. Since when is Apple concerned for energy efficiency?
post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozoner View Post

If this were another iPhone-sized device, OLED would be a bigger deal. But I imagine this new device is going to have plenty of real-estate under the hood for an enlarged battery. We already know they can get everything needed to run an iPhone-like device into an area 3x5x.5 inches - fitting in a double or triple-sized battery size shouldn't be a big deal.

IMO, tablet should rather near notebooks in its degree of mobility. On the other hand, I won't be surprised, if Apple fails to keep energy consumption and battery life satisfactory.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I am sticking my bet on OLED. If I lose I believe I will owe someone a penny.

I'll stick with ya on that bet too. Apple has to do something special with the display because it's going to be an extremely important part of this product's success.
post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I don't agree that the tablet should be a laptop replacement. That's exactly the mistake made with netbooks.
[...]
I expect better from Apple. I expect a product that works very well and doesn't try to offer functionality for which it's ill-suited. To me, at this time, that rules out a 10-inch tablet.

I agree with everyting you stated up until
you ruled out the 10" display. One of biggest problems with the Kindle, even as an eReader, was the small display. A 10" display is about one half of the 13" dispaly used in the MB/MBP/MBA. I think that is pretty ideal for reading textbooks, periodicals, newspapers and other printed media. You go to 5-7" it becomes more suited for novels and not much more.
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post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

. This is a laptop replacement as far as I can see, and as such a larger screen size necessary.


I find this kind of comment comical..

A laptop replacement??? Really?? For whom???

Maybe a laptop replacement for those who use their computers for nothing more than surfing the internet, checking email and watching a movie.. But for those who use their computer for actual work as with Apple's pro apps, there is no way a 10 inch tablet running an iPhone OS is going to replace a MacBook Pro..
post #23 of 78
At this point? Seems like this type of technology didn't really help the Zune or Google's Nexus one. Sure Apple enthusiasts know the benefits, but Apple doesn't make stuff for us anymore. They make stuff for the hip crowd now and they'll buy anything with an Apple Logo on it. Well, maybe not the Apple tv......
post #24 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

I'll stick with ya on that bet too. Apple has to do something special with the display because it's going to be an extremely important part of this product's success.

Sure, but pricing and ready availability are pretty important as well. A $2,000 tablet with a constrained, narrow supply chain aren't big upsides compared to "gee, these blacks are somewhat blacker than on a similar LCD, if I'm remembering correctly."
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post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

At this point? Seems like this type of technology didn't really help the Zune or Google's Nexus one. Sure Apple enthusiasts know the benefits, but Apple doesn't make stuff for us anymore. They make stuff for the hip crowd now and they'll buy anything with an Apple Logo on it. Well, maybe not the Apple tv......

The trouble with "Apple enthusiasts" is that they want all this technology incorporated into the new device AND they want it to cost $150. You simply can't have both. The article already points out that an OLED screen of the size mentioned would make the cost of manufacture extremely high. Yet, when the device finally is announced, if it doesn't have the OLED screen it will be roundly criticized. If it does have the screen but is priced above the imaginary line drawn in the sand by analysts it will, you guessed it, be roundly criticized. So either way the device will not meet the expectations of the "experts". But then none of the "experts" have ever created a single product and brought it to market.
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Sure, but pricing and ready availability are pretty important as well. A $2,000 tablet with a constrained, narrow supply chain aren't big upsides compared to "gee, these blacks are somewhat blacker than on a similar LCD, if I'm remembering correctly."

No, no! It has to be more than a "gee, these blacks are blacker". It has to be something else that creates the wow factor on the hardware side. And no, I'm not underestimating the software impact. Obviously the software is crucial. But I maintain that there will be something special about this device on the hardware side too!

I just can't figure out what!
post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The trouble with "Apple enthusiasts" is that they want all this technology incorporated into the new device AND they want it to cost $150. You simply can't have both. The article already points out that an OLED screen of the size mentioned would make the cost of manufacture extremely high. Yet, when the device finally is announced, if it doesn't have the OLED screen it will be roundly criticized. If it does have the screen but is priced above the imaginary line drawn in the sand by analysts it will, you guessed it, be roundly criticized. So either way the device will not meet the expectations of the "experts". But then none of the "experts" have ever created a single product and brought it to market.

That's one of the most amusing things with these new product speculation threads. Many of the predictions are completely out of touch with anything remotely resembling reality.

It's clear that most people here have zero knowledge about supply chain issues and the production of consumer electronics (or really any physical product).

Just look at all the people asking for a $99 or $199 unsubsidized smartphone when the estimated Bill Of Materials is hovers around $180. And that's not including R&D, licensing/royalties, manufacturing costs, packaging, marketing, accessories, etc.

The other funny thing is the request for completely esoteric features that have little appeal for the general marketplace or functionality that has no logical reason. Apple designs their consumer electronics for Joe Consumer, not for individuals.
post #28 of 78
I'm a big fan of OLED screens but expecting a 10" capacitive OLED screen to feature on a sensibly priced device is ridiculous. Sony's latest 11" OLED digital TV retails for £3,299 (~$5000) in the UK.

An OLED display on this year's iPhone is a realistic hope though.
post #29 of 78
An AMOLED sounds interesting, but from what i've seen and heard its not as great as one would think.

First, it is almost invisible in broad daylight. Imagine just how much of an inconvenience that could be for many customers.

Second, it has a reputation of being overly saturated (ex. Nexus One). I'm pretty sure nobody wants color mania on their screen as actor's faces suddenly turn into a sunburnt orange color. Color accuracy is definitely more important than color pop.

AMOLED does pose several problems, but maybe Apple could fix that issue with an invention of their own, or stick with the conventional LED-backlit LCD panels.
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree with everyting you stated up until
you ruled out the 10" display. One of biggest problems with the Kindle, even as an eReader, was the small display. A 10" display is about one half of the 13" dispaly used in the MB/MBP/MBA. I think that is pretty ideal for reading textbooks, periodicals, newspapers and other printed media. You go to 5-7" it becomes more suited for novels and not much more.

The question is, do you compromise price, battery life, portability, etc. to accomodate a market that is not at all a sure thing? If there were an obvious, pent-up demand for an electronic magazine reader, that I could see.

In my view, the need for a touch-screen device with a larger screen than the Touch is that the Touch has outgrown its screen. The way most of us are using it these days, it begs for more screen real estate. This is a market for which there is an obvious, pent-up demand. It's a much safer bet for Apple to bring a $500 7-inch Touch to market than to try and make a go of a $750 10-inch device.

It isn't impossible that Apple might offer both but if it does, the 10-incher would likely serve a limited niche market whereas the 7-incher would likely be a sales hit. If Apple brings out just one, it will be the 7-inch device. That's where the volume and profit is and while Apple likes to market itself as a premium brand, it is not averse to pumping out high-volume products like the iPod or competing on price as it does with iTunes media.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Oh, we should have heard something about that for sure....

P.S. The only evident OLED advantage is energy efficiency. Since when is Apple concerned for energy efficiency?

The one out now aren't that energy efficient. Only when most of the display is black.
post #32 of 78
If I had to choose between fancy-pants screen options, I'd much rather have a PixelQi screen instead of an OLED screen.
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Well, neither iPhone, nor Magic Mouse support your point. While Apple's notebook line apparently does.

Just because a company is interested doesn't mean it's possible. We all want bigger screens, more powerful cpus and gpus, more memory etc. That all consumes more power.

It's also one reason why Apple has been holding off on multitasking.
post #34 of 78
There will be an OLED screen. That's what the color splatters on the invitation are about.
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

IMO, tablet should rather near notebooks in its degree of mobility. On the other hand, I won't be surprised, if Apple fails to keep energy consumption and battery life satisfactory.

What would you consider to be satisfactory? I believe the new 12" Joo Joo tablet has about 5 hours of battery life. Is that satisfactory? What would be for a full color graphics accelerated device?

Be realistic. Remember that the far less capable B&N product has only about 12 to 14 hours of battery life, and that's with a mostly "E-ink" screen.
post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn79 View Post

First, it is almost invisible in broad daylight. Imagine just how much of an inconvenience that could be for many customers.

Second, it has a reputation of being overly saturated (ex. Nexus One). I'm pretty sure nobody wants color mania on their screen as actor's faces suddenly turn into a sunburnt orange color. Color accuracy is definitely more important than color pop.

Yeah the outdoor performance is quite bad with AMOLED:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVYI4ko6_E0

Indoors they look really vibrant and have great viewing angles though.

I personally rarely use the phone outdoors beyond calling people and the screen looks usable for that so I'd be happy with AMOLED. I prefer over-saturated colors generally too.

Apple just need to find a way to get IPS-like technology into mobile screens and even laptop ones. If AMOLED tech is the only way that quality will come then we'll have to suffer the downsides.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

At this point? Seems like this type of technology didn't really help the Zune or Google's Nexus one. Sure Apple enthusiasts know the benefits, but Apple doesn't make stuff for us anymore. They make stuff for the hip crowd now and they'll buy anything with an Apple Logo on it. Well, maybe not the Apple tv......

Well, we also hear that Apple's products are too expensive.

If you're an "Apple enthusiast" as your post makes you seem to be, would you pay the estimated $2,000 that a 10" AMOLED tablet is estimated to cost?
post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah the outdoor performance is quite bad with AMOLED:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVYI4ko6_E0

Indoors they look really vibrant and have great viewing angles though.

I personally rarely use the phone outdoors beyond calling people and the screen looks usable for that so I'd be happy with AMOLED. I prefer over-saturated colors generally too.

Apple just need to find a way to get IPS-like technology into mobile screens and even laptop ones. If AMOLED tech is the only way that quality will come then we'll have to suffer the downsides.

I'm sad about current AMOLEDs. Years ago, we were being told quite enthusiastically that OLEDs would be MUCH more readable outside, because they could (would) be SO much brighter. But so far, that hasn't panned out. They were extrapolating that from silicon and GasP LEDs, which ARE much brighter.

In order to be seen, a device must emit a higher light level than the outside light. Outdoors, that's a LOT of light.

Problems have been that more brightness dramatically lowers the useful life of the screen. Too much brightness overheats the screen, also results in sharply lowered lifetime.

Too much brightness results in too high a power draw.

Right now, AMOLED adopters are on the bleeding edge of that technology.

I would LOVE Apple to come out with an AMOLED screened device. I'm hoping that when they do, maybe later this year, that they will have a screen that has seen some of those problems solved. I know from my reading my journals that in a year or so, screens with much better energy efficiency will be available. Also, screens with a much better lifetime. While that may not seem important to those who say that current phone AMOLEDs are already at the 30,000 (field use, not lab) hour point, it is important. Those screens die rapidly if the brightness is too high, so it's limited. So very poor outside performance results.

If the lifetime is much better, the screens could be allowed to be set brighter, resulting in better outside performance. Also shorter lifetimes from heat will be less of a factor when efficiency is increased.

We're still in the infancy of these screens. In three of four years, the problems will all have been solved effectively enough.
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

No, no, no. I believe your original post on this topic assured us that if it wasn't OLED
you'd be eating your hat . . .

No, eating my hate was for the name.
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post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I'm a big fan of OLED screens but expecting a 10" capacitive OLED screen to feature on a sensibly priced device is ridiculous.

Who at Apple said it was going to be sensibly priced?
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