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'Huge' orders for Samsung's flexible OLEDs spark rumors of Apple interest

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Samsung has seen a "huge" number of orders for its new flexible OLED screens, and Apple is rumored to be among the companies interested in the new technology.

Citing industry sources in the Far East, The Korea Times reported that Apple is "likely" to be one of the handset makers who will ask Samsung to provide them with flexible OLED screens. Mass production of bendable OLED screens is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012.

Talk of Apple and flexible OLED displays surfaced after Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun revealed his company has seen "huge" orders from device makers for its pliable organic light emitting diode displays.

The report from Korea said while a flexible OLED will not be found in Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, expected to be launched later this year, it's possible that Apple could adapt the technology in the future, for what it dubbed an "iPhone Yoga."

Initial production of flexible OLED displays will be limited. Samsung has a number of lines dedicated to the technology at a factory in Tangjeong, South Korea, but they will only produce 960,000 OLED sheets by the end of 2012, the report said.

Samsung flexible display
Samsung Mobile Display showing off a flexible display at CES 2011. Source: OLED-Display.net


The bullish comments from Kwon led some who spoke with the Times to infer that Apple is behind the company's optimism for the future of flexible OLEDs. One anonymous source noted that Apple sets the trends that the rest of the industry follows.

"If Samsung finds increasing industry demand for a futuristic product like flexible displays, it's hard to imagine Apple doesn't have something to do with it," one person was quoted as saying.

Earlier this year, another report claimed that Apple was investigating flexible panels for potential use in future iPad models. Apple currently does not use AMOLED screens in any of its products, instead relying on traditional LCD screens with in-plane switching technology for superior viewing angles.
post #2 of 40
I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

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post #3 of 40

There have been occasional rumors that Apple has been testing a wearable item. A flexible screen might be appropriate for a jacket sleeve.

 

Also, Google has people doing research on wearable technology. That said, I'm rather skeptical of this rumor.

post #4 of 40

meh..

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

 

I was just about to say the same thing.  I haven't seen anyone yet come up with any real world application of this technology that's compelling at all.  Perhaps a slightly concave phone screen for better thumb ergonomics, but that's about it. 

 

Samsung's only idea so far is to have the screen fold over on one side for half a centimetre or so making "side buttons" that are still part of the screen.  A gimmicky thing if ever there was one. 

post #6 of 40
Quote:

Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

 

... Google has people doing research on wearable technology. ..

 

This makes the most sense to me.  The absolute number of screens being produced is too low for production models of anything.  

 

Google is famous for jumping on emerging technology far too soon and spending large amounts of money testing it only to be ultimately beaten to the punch by Apple when the technology actually becomes relevant.  I would bet money that Google just bought up 90,000 screens for some kind of stupid testing and every Google-ite will end up with one in their closet collecting dust.  

post #7 of 40

Actually, one of the principle benefits of a flexible display is that it can be attached to something OTHER than glass.  This leads to a great opportunity in handheld devices; the screen can be mounted on a stiff plate and you get an unbreakable screen.  

 

I was working with such technology for military applications, but it is a real option in the future.  The glass screens are simply a weak-point in the smartphone ecosystem.

 

Charlie

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

The glass screens are simply a weak-point in the smartphone ecosystem.
I don't follow. If a plastic covered display was better then Apple wouldn't have used the more expensive and complex glass on the original iPhone and others wouldn't have followed suit. Alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass is used because it's flexible and scratch resistance. I know of no optical quality plastics that are as scratch resistance at that thickness.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 40

For those who can't see a use... Earth Final Conflict GlobalLink phones anyone?

 

phone-final-conflict.jpg

post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

 

Perhaps not so much a flexible display to be manipulated by the user as a curved display in a non-standard design.

 

Bluetooth enabled sunglasses with OLED flexible display lenses?

Curved tablets designed to integrate with "Made for iPad" products?

iWatch with Bluetooth integration to iPad and iPhone?

 

I think we need to start thinking about computers in an entirely different way.

 

In the future computers will be ubiquitous embedded technologies we can't even imagine.  The pervasive computing model is why Apple will be so successful for years to come.  Apple OS X modular design provides flexibility that competitors can't imagine.  From Mac Pro to iPad to iPhone to iPod nano the adaptability of the operating system is manifest.  We simply aren't used to this pervasive computing model because no one has had any success (until Apple, recently) with anything other than desktops, laptops and "smartphones."  Until Apple invaded the "smartphone" space computing power in such a small form factor was an issue, one of the next issues will be design limitations of non-flexibility screens.

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

A ceiling mounted, auto roll down, giant TV display?  But that's not exactly manipulated by the user except in deploying it although if really big you could choose to curve (user preference controlled)  the display like the old massive movie theaters did with the screens. Sound of Music anyone?

 

On a more serious note ... the screens for a pair of stereo viewing goggles might have user control to a pair of flexible screens for diopter adjustment.


Edited by digitalclips - 5/14/12 at 8:13am
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post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

Perhaps not so much a flexible display to be manipulated by the user as a curved display in a non-standard design.

 

Bluetooth enabled sunglasses with OLED flexible display lenses?

Curved tablets designed to integrate with "Made for iPad" products?

iWatch with Bluetooth integration to iPad and iPhone?

 

I think we need to start thinking about computers in an entirely different way.

 

In the future computers will be ubiquitous embedded technologies we can't even imagine.  The pervasive computing model is why Apple will be so successful for years to come.  Apple OS X modular design provides flexibility that competitors can't imagine.  From Mac Pro to iPad to iPhone to iPod nano the adaptability of the operating system is manifest.  We simply aren't used to this pervasive computing model because no one has had any success (until Apple, recently) with anything other than desktops, laptops and "smartphones."  Until Apple invaded the "smartphone" space computing power in such a small form factor was an issue, one of the next issues will be design limitations of non-flexibility screens.

 

Like this?

 

"How far would you go to get rid of those pesky watch straps? One man has decided to implant magnets into his skin in order to go strapless, calling the project iDermal (NSFW!). Dave Hurban undertook the project in order to attach an iPod Nano to his wrist to use as a timepiece."

 

http://www.slashgear.com/magnets-ipod-nano-strapless-watch-14228028/

 

 

ipodmagnet.jpg


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 5/14/12 at 8:33am
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post #13 of 40

Removed: duplicate


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 5/14/12 at 8:34am
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #14 of 40

The likelihood of Apple placing huge orders for this tech right now is slim to none.

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

Perhaps not so much a flexible display to be manipulated by the user as a curved display in a non-standard design.

 

Bluetooth enabled sunglasses with OLED flexible display lenses?

Curved tablets designed to integrate with "Made for iPad" products?

iWatch with Bluetooth integration to iPad and iPhone?

 

I think we need to start thinking about computers in an entirely different way.

 

In the future computers will be ubiquitous embedded technologies we can't even imagine.  The pervasive computing model is why Apple will be so successful for years to come.  Apple OS X modular design provides flexibility that competitors can't imagine.  From Mac Pro to iPad to iPhone to iPod nano the adaptability of the operating system is manifest.  We simply aren't used to this pervasive computing model because no one has had any success (until Apple, recently) with anything other than desktops, laptops and "smartphones."  Until Apple invaded the "smartphone" space computing power in such a small form factor was an issue, one of the next issues will be design limitations of non-flexibility screens.

 

I would like to see the next iteration of the iPad have an edge-to-edge (no bezel) display.  Optionally, the user could set the device to have a logical bezel -- displayed in black and ignore any touches...

 

When in no-bezel mode, the iPads could be aggregated into a video wall -- a logical display of any size -- say 5 rows of 5 iPads...

 

Something like this, with more iPads:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s2oYUy_cVY

 

 

Apple already has Mac OS software that can break an image or video into segments and aggregate them to multiple displays.

 

With the new higher speed WiFi, this could be quite effective!

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Actually, one of the principle benefits of a flexible display is that it can be attached to something OTHER than glass.  This leads to a great opportunity in handheld devices; the screen can be mounted on a stiff plate and you get an unbreakable screen.  

I was working with such technology for military applications, but it is a real option in the future.  The glass screens are simply a weak-point in the smartphone ecosystem.

Charlie

Bullshit! Gorilla glass is the only thing that makes sense for iPhones and iPads. A flexible plastic screen would be toast after a few weeks in and out of pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Scratch resistance and durability is what is needed. Flexible screens are a solution looking for a problem.
post #17 of 40

Whoever said it was for phones?

 

Tv's that are angled, wraparound displays in apple stores.....the applications are only limited by your imagination.....hence the reason we don't get paid the big bucks for making new products. 

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post
Tv's that are angled, wraparound displays in apple stores.....the applications are only limited by your imagination.....hence the reason we don't get paid the big bucks for making new products. 

 

So instead of static images above each product shelf, those will become giant moving displays… 

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #19 of 40

Samsung's flexible OLED panels are also transparent.  This quality will be sparking as much interest as their flexibility.  They are also very tough, which alone would prove of interest to many companies.

post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Samsung's flexible OLED panels are also transparent.  This quality will be sparking as much interest as their flexibility.  They are also very tough, which alone would prove of interest to many companies.
Any info on the optical characteristics of the transparency? It's one thing to be allow light through that you can make out objects but another if you want to use is a windshield or glasses.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Whoever said it was for phones?

 

Tv's that are angled, wraparound displays in apple stores.....the applications are only limited by your imagination.....hence the reason we don't get paid the big bucks for making new products. 

 

 

Now, now, don't say that. People on AI like to believe they're all destined to become the next Steve Jobs, or that the only reason they're not already is no one can handle their infinite intelligence. 

 

 

lol.gif

post #22 of 40

If it makes the iDevice more shatter resistant, I'm all for it. I dropped my iPod just wrong and the display shattered. I know others who have done the same thing.

 

- Jasen.

post #23 of 40

origam-iMac?

post #24 of 40

I am sick to death of smartphone screens that stay put when I tap and swipe. I want to feel like I’m writing on Jell-o. And down with durable, solid gorilla glass! Give me a display I can actually dent and crease from normal use! Apple is surely interested in this, coupled with a flexible battery, motherboard and antennas. My next iPhone will double as a dish sponge or I’m going Android!

post #25 of 40

yeah, sure, Apple is "interested" in the flexible OLED, in the sense of keeping one's enemies closer, but Apple will almost certainly continue to use displays with far better image quality than AMOLED... and produce an "iPhone Judo".

 

The "huge" orders are almost certainly from Samsung itself, by the way.

post #26 of 40
So this isn't rumor, but mere speculation?

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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I am sick to death of smartphone screens that stay put when I tap and swipe. I want to feel like I’m writing on Jell-o. And down with durable, solid gorilla glass! Give me a display I can actually dent and crease from normal use! Apple is surely interested in this, coupled with a flexible battery, motherboard and antennas. My next iPhone will double as a dish sponge or I’m going Android!

orrrrrrrr

 

You may go to an apple store that has a display that curves around over 360 degrees and allows you to rotate it like a carousel and interact with others on all sides of it, swiping things either way.  

 

Please....don't limit your imagination just cause its Samsung making it. Just cause YOU cant see an application for it doesn't mean Apple cant. 

post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadGoat View Post

For those who can't see a use... Earth Final Conflict GlobalLink phones anyone?

LL

I remember the first time I saw that and thought it was so cool. I wondered if we would actually have that kind of technology someday.

Fast forward a decade and half. Here i sit reading a story on the Internet about flexible screens on my iPad and I can think is...meh.

:-p
Edited by bigdaddyp - 5/14/12 at 12:19pm
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post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Any info on the optical characteristics of the transparency? It's one thing to be allow light through that you can make out objects but another if you want to use is a windshield or glasses.


post #30 of 40
iPod nano and Apple TV remote
post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

 

 

Same here. 

 

Wasn't Apple investigating ways to provide haptic feedback to users for its on-screen keyboard? What if Apple develops a way to use a flexible screen in a way that produces the feel of on-screen keys. I don't know much about these flexible display and their limitations but I wonder if that's where this is going.

post #32 of 40

I built a flexible screen in grad school and showed some applications.  Here is the video:

 

 

 

And the paper:
[PDF]

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post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space but I can't think of any use for a flexible display that can be manipulated by the user.

In larger versions, soldiers could unroll a folded up display packed compactly in their kit...

 

At consumer grade, once the tech is cheap, the "newspaper" experience could be replicated on a park bench, in the home on the subway, train, plane or bus....

 

In VR or gaming apps, it could be folded into a standing cylinder you could walk around.  

 

Not predicting, just saying....

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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

In larger versions, soldiers could unroll a folded up display packed compactly in their kit...

 

At consumer grade, once the tech is cheap, the "newspaper" experience could be replicated on a park bench, in the home on the subway, train, plane or bus....

 

In VR or gaming apps, it could be folded into a standing cylinder you could walk around.  

 

Not predicting, just saying....

Your examples fit Solipism's point ...  "I can think of uses for a flexible display built into a secure, curved space ..."

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post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

In larger versions, soldiers could unroll a folded up display packed compactly in their kit...

 

At consumer grade, once the tech is cheap, the "newspaper" experience could be replicated on a park bench, in the home on the subway, train, plane or bus....

 

In VR or gaming apps, it could be folded into a standing cylinder you could walk around.  

 

Not predicting, just saying....

 

Not to pick on you as everyone seems to be making the same mistake here ... 

 

Samsung has (after years of trying), finally made a display that bends.  This is not the same thing as a display that rolls up or folds, so far these uses are impossible AFAIK.

post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Not to pick on you as everyone seems to be making the same mistake here ... 

 

Samsung has (after years of trying), finally made a display that bends.  This is not the same thing as a display that rolls up or folds, so far these uses are impossible AFAIK.

 

They've had flexible displays for at least 3 years and foldable ones from 4 years ago.

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I was just about to say the same thing.  I haven't seen anyone yet come up with any real world application of this technology that's compelling at all.  Perhaps a slightly concave phone screen for better thumb ergonomics, but that's about it. 

 

Samsung's only idea so far is to have the screen fold over on one side for half a centimetre or so making "side buttons" that are still part of the screen.  A gimmicky thing if ever there was one. 

Bear in mind, the suggested uses at this point are probably thought up by the engineers that created it. They're not the people to go to for innovative uses for new technology; just for creating it.

 

Besides, it's Samsung. Not exactly the most innovative bunch, when it comes to applying new technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post
Apple OS X modular design provides flexibility that competitors can't imagine.  From Mac Pro to iPad to iPhone to iPod nano the adaptability of the operating system is manifest.  We simply aren't used to this pervasive computing model because no one has had any success (until Apple, recently) with anything other than desktops, laptops and "smartphones."  Until Apple invaded the "smartphone" space computing power in such a small form factor was an issue, one of the next issues will be design limitations of non-flexibility screens.

Oh, the power was there, all along. The problem was no-one was able to conceptualise a smart phone (or tablet, or PDA, or whatnot) as something other than a smaller version of a desktop or laptop computer.

 

The iPod nano, by the way, doesn't run Mac OS X (or iOS).

 

.tsooJ

post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tune View Post

 

They've had flexible displays for at least 3 years and foldable ones from 4 years ago.

 

totally missed my point.  flexible is not the same as rollable/foldable. you are wrong about this.

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

yeah, sure, Apple is "interested" in the flexible OLED, in the sense of keeping one's enemies closer, but Apple will almost certainly continue to use displays with far better image quality than AMOLED... and produce an "iPhone Judo".

 

The "huge" orders are almost certainly from Samsung itself, by the way.

 

AMOLED screens have long considered to be superior to LCD screens in regards to contrast, viewing angle, and power consumption. They lagged behind in pixel density for a while, but that no longer appears to be the case . Exactly what metric do you think LCD's have an edge over AMOLED?

 

LCDs are soooo last millenium...

post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyorpb View Post

 

Besides, it's Samsung. Not exactly the most innovative bunch, when it comes to applying new technology.

 

Does Apple have anything like this?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5rlTrdF5Cs

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