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Apple partner LG Display invests $650M in OLED screens

post #1 of 25
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LG Display, a major provider of screens to Apple, has announced plans to invest more than $650 million in OLED technology.

LG plans to produce large-panel organic light emitting diode displays at its existing plant in Paju, South Korea, investing 706 billion won, or $656.7 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. LG plans to produce the OLED screens for high-definition television sets by the end of June 2014.

OLED
The first OLED TV from LG Electronics costs $10,000.


The major investment by LG will allow the company produce 26,000 sheets per month large enough to result in six 55-inch screens each.

LG Display is a major supplier to Apple, which has increasingly turned to the company as it looks to move its supply chain away from rival Samsung. The company is said to have landed the most orders for Apple's latest products, including the iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and redesigned iMacs.

Monday's news is even more noteworthy because it was revealed earlier this month that Apple had courted an OLED expert away from LG Display. OLED panels promise thinner designs and better battery life, but Apple has not adopted the new screen technology for any of its devices.

That hasn't stopped rumors that have persisted for years that Apple could switch to OLED panels for its future devices. Currently, Apple prefers LCD panels with in-plane switching technology, allowing for wide viewing angles.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even panned OLED last week at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, suggesting the color accuracy is poor. Samsung utilizes OLED panels for its flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone.

But Apple has also shown interest in improving OLED technology for its own use. Numerous patent filings by the company over the years specifically mention OLED displays on devices like iPhones.

LG's announced OLED plans are HDTV-specific, which could also tie into rumors of an Apple-built television set. The company has been rumored to build a full-fledged HDTV for years, and Cook even hinted late last year that Apple has big plans for the living room.

However, OLED panels remain extremely costly in large form factors. For example, LG Electronics, a major shareholder in LG Display, launched a 55-inch OLED TV in January starting at $10,000.
post #2 of 25
Nothing to see here. Move along.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 25
Cue the stories that this confirms that Apple is making a TV, it will come in sizes up to 55 inches and be out in 2014

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post #4 of 25
My feeling was that Cook panned the OLED's because Apple was going to partner with Sharp to produce IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide)screens that have higher resoultion and use less power, but maybe LG has found a way to make OLED's work.
Read an interesting article in Forbes this morning...what if all this talk about an "iWatch" is actually about a TV and not a wristwatch? As in "iWatch TV"? Could all this wristwatch stuff be a smokescreen?
post #5 of 25
Title: "Apple partner LG Display invests $650M in OLED screens"
Article: LG Display, a major provider of screens to Apple, has announced plans to invest more than $650 million in OLED technology.

'Nuff said
post #6 of 25
This doesn't make a lot of sense given that Apple's recent patents on OLED technology deal with power and brightness issues only. They would have had to come up with some miraculous technology to make the colours more accurate or the whole thing makes no sense at all.

Edit:

On a second reading, it seems that there is actually no reason at all to believe that the OLED screens are headed for Apple products, despite the strong implication in the article that they are.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This doesn't make a lot of sense given that Apple's recent patents on OLED technology deal with power and brightness issues only. They would have had to come up with some miraculous technology to make the colours more accurate or the whole thing makes no sense at all.

Edit:

On a second reading, it seems that there is actually no reason at all to believe that the OLED screens are headed for Apple products, despite the strong implication in the article that they are.

Which was exactly my point in the first response to this article.

LG is spending money on OLED.

LG supplies some screens to Apple.

There is absolutely nothing in those two facts which lead one to believe that Apple is planning OLED in any products. I believe the matter is simple. If and when OLED offers quality and performance that offers any advantage to iDevices, Apple will incorporate it. So far, there's no real reason to switch to OLED, so the LG investment is presumably for other customers' benefit.
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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordon Eagan View Post

My feeling was that Cook panned the OLED's because Apple was going to partner with Sharp to produce IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide)screens that have higher resoultion and use less power, but maybe LG has found a way to make OLED's work.
Read an interesting article in Forbes this morning...what if all this talk about an "iWatch" is actually about a TV and not a wristwatch? As in "iWatch TV"? Could all this wristwatch stuff be a smokescreen?

There is a non-zero probability.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This doesn't make a lot of sense given that Apple's recent patents on OLED technology deal with power and brightness issues only. They would have had to come up with some miraculous technology to make the colours more accurate or the whole thing makes no sense at all.

Edit:

On a second reading, it seems that there is actually no reason at all to believe that the OLED screens are headed for Apple products, despite the strong implication in the article that they are.


You and Tim both suffer from the same misunderstanding about the colour accuracy of OLED panels.  They are not intrinsically inferior to other technologies, they are actually potentially superior, being generally capable of reproducing a wider colour gamut than LCDs.  Dell have some wide gamut special panels for laptops with a gamut of 92% of NTSC color space with a contrast ratio of 1000:1.  Samsung's OLED Tv on the other hand has a colour gamut of 107% of NTSC and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

 

The actual problem is that most people have only seen OLED panels in phones, and the manufacturers of the phones have chosen to adjust the colour balance in a way that exaggerates colour saturation.  This isn't a fault of the tech, but of the implementation.  I have an Olympus camera with an OLED panel on the back.  It is not adjusted to give the over saturation present in my Samsung phone.  I believe the panel in the camera is also made by Samsung.  The result is the panel in the camera delivers a stunning image quality, which surpasses that of the screen on my Macbook Pro Retina.

 

The argument of colour inaccuracy in OLED panels is as bogus as if one were to claim the tech behind  LCD TV panels is overly bright and vivd, basing such a judgement on how they appear in most stores, when it is common practice of most stores to set display sets to a vivid setting.

post #10 of 25

Maybe Tim is pulling a Jobsian RDF - diss a product/technology to divert attention and ... BOOM - release a product with previously dismissed technology a year later.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


You and Tim both suffer from the same misunderstanding about the colour accuracy of OLED panels.  They are not intrinsically inferior to other technologies, they are actually potentially superior, being generally capable of reproducing a wider colour gamut than LCDs.  Dell have some wide gamut special panels for laptops with a gamut of 92% of NTSC color space with a contrast ratio of 1000:1.  Samsung's OLED Tv on the other hand has a colour gamut of 107% of NTSC and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

The actual problem is that most people have only seen OLED panels in phones, and the manufacturers of the phones have chosen to adjust the colour balance in a way that exaggerates colour saturation.  This isn't a fault of the tech, but of the implementation.  I have an Olympus camera with an OLED panel on the back.  It is not adjusted to give the over saturation present in my Samsung phone.  I believe the panel in the camera is also made by Samsung.  The result is the panel in the camera delivers a stunning image quality, which surpasses that of the screen on my Macbook Pro Retina.

The argument of colour inaccuracy in OLED panels is as bogus as if one were to claim the tech behind  LCD TV panels is overly bright and vivd, basing such a judgement on how they appear in most stores, when it is common practice of most stores to set display sets to a vivid setting.

Yes, I'm sure you know more about the screens used in portable devices than all the experts at Apple (Cook was undoubtedly relying on what he has been told by their experts).
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post #12 of 25
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post
Maybe Tim is pulling a Jobsian RDF - diss a product/technology to divert attention and ... BOOM - release a product with previously dismissed technology a year later.

 

Apple has been dismissing OLED since it first came out, though, yeah? Better to ignore it and move on to the next tech.

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post #13 of 25

"Apple partner LG Display"

 

It is a slightly weird world where tech leaders like LG need to be a supplier rather than seller.

Yet wise buyers choose Samsung when buying the Retina Macbook Pro.

Seeing a it of ghosting? Well that is the LG one.

 

Still, LG can shift a stash of OLEDs simply by becoming 'supplier only' and its certainly good for the short term balance sheet.

post #14 of 25

It's a no brainer. OLED is much thinner, bendable, on average consumes less power, produces absolute blacks and wider saturation gamut. Cook knows that. The only reason he "panned OLED": cause Apple currently has no access to reasonably large supplies of OLED, so Cook makes excuses.

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post #15 of 25
Lets see, LG has its captive market for these screens and numerous other users of these screens but this release some how tells the world the panels are detained for Apple. Honestly folks it is a stretch to come to that conclusion.

That being said I'm sure Apple has kept its eye on OLED tech but there Reuther factors at work here that discount their immediate use. For one thing the word organic in the name of these screens means that they degrade significantly over time. There are all sorts of possibilities here but I'm not convinced that Apple is going the OLED route for big screens. Now for iWatch that would be an entirely different story. OLED technology has a lot of potential for a watch type device.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


You and Tim both suffer from the same misunderstanding about the colour accuracy of OLED panels.  They are not intrinsically inferior to other technologies, they are actually potentially superior, being generally capable of reproducing a wider colour gamut than LCDs.  Dell have some wide gamut special panels for laptops with a gamut of 92% of NTSC color space with a contrast ratio of 1000:1.  Samsung's OLED Tv on the other hand has a colour gamut of 107% of NTSC and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

 

The actual problem is that most people have only seen OLED panels in phones, and the manufacturers of the phones have chosen to adjust the colour balance in a way that exaggerates colour saturation.  This isn't a fault of the tech, but of the implementation.  I have an Olympus camera with an OLED panel on the back.  It is not adjusted to give the over saturation present in my Samsung phone.  I believe the panel in the camera is also made by Samsung.  The result is the panel in the camera delivers a stunning image quality, which surpasses that of the screen on my Macbook Pro Retina.

 

The argument of colour inaccuracy in OLED panels is as bogus as if one were to claim the tech behind  LCD TV panels is overly bright and vivd, basing such a judgement on how they appear in most stores, when it is common practice of most stores to set display sets to a vivid setting.

 

You're white-washing a bit yourself here.  

 

Whether through implementation details, or through ineptitude, it is definitely a fact that most OLED panels for sale (both TV's and phones) have rather poor colour reproduction and in general, produce over-saturated imagery.  You would have us believe that these TV sets and phones are just "poorly tuned," when this isn't really the case.  

 

Pen-tile implementations of OLED panels for instance (widely used and sold), cannot give colour accurate results by default, they just aren't designed in a way that they could.  I don't think it's credible of you to suggest that their notorious over-saturation is down to tuning or adjustment in all, or even most cases.  

 

My assertion wasn't that OLED *couldn't* ever give accurate colour results, merely that they don't currently do so in most cases.  

 

I think it rather likely that if Apple makes a TV set, that they will use OLED due to economic concerns alone.  My suggestion was only that before this happens, we will likely see some sort of Apple-esque way of ensuring proper colour reproduction from the current panels, or an Apple-esque twist on the production methods of the panels for the same reason.  

post #17 of 25
Anytime Apple can acquire exclusive rights or use of a technology, it will go for it. This might be one. OLED, which is wrong for now, reputedly has huge potential. I wondered what Apple would do in light of Cook's comments. Maybe now we know.
post #18 of 25

What Are you still here?

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

You're white-washing a bit yourself here.  

 

Whether through implementation details, or through ineptitude, it is definitely a fact that most OLED panels for sale (both TV's and phones) have rather poor colour reproduction and in general, produce over-saturated imagery.  You would have us believe that these TV sets and phones are just "poorly tuned," when this isn't really the case.

 

Pen-tile implementations of OLED panels for instance (widely used and sold), cannot give colour accurate results by default, they just aren't designed in a way that they could.  I don't think it's credible of you to suggest that their notorious over-saturation is down to tuning or adjustment in all, or even most cases.  

 

My assertion wasn't that OLED *couldn't* ever give accurate colour results, merely that they don't currently do so in most cases.  

 

I think it rather likely that if Apple makes a TV set, that they will use OLED due to economic concerns alone.  My suggestion was only that before this happens, we will likely see some sort of Apple-esque way of ensuring proper colour reproduction from the current panels, or an Apple-esque twist on the production methods of the panels for the same reason.  

Ahhem...

 

Quote:

We're used to seeing high-end TVs costing several thousand pounds, but it's not often we get to take a look at the reference monitors used to produce the films and TV programs we watch at home. When Sony showed off its TriMaster BVM-E250 reference monitor to us on a recent trip to Tokyo, we were rightly blown away by its image quality.

Unlike a TV, which processes the image before displaying it on-screen, a reference monitor displays exactly what data is recorded in the input image. Sony's latest models use OLED, rather than the CRT and LED sets previously used by the television industry, for more accurate colour and black levels than ever before.

 

The problem, as I said, isn't intrinsic to the OLED technology, but rather the way it is implemented.  Samsung is lazy and is doing it's customers a disservice by not calibrating the OLED screens in their phones.  What they should do is provide a control panel feature that woud allow interested users to calibrate the screens themselves.  The OLED screens Samsung produces have a wider colour gamut than the IPS screens Apple uses.  This ought to provide them with an advantage because a wider gamut implies an ability to display a larger number of colours, therefore achieving greater colour fidelity.  But Samsung's less than optimal implementation squanders the potential advantage, so win to Apple, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the tech.

post #20 of 25
I wouldn;t worry about accurate color representation, People really prefer to see their phones, so saturated is fine when needed.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

It's a no brainer. OLED is much thinner, bendable, on average consumes less power, produces absolute blacks and wider saturation gamut. Cook knows that. The only reason he "panned OLED": cause Apple currently has no access to reasonably large supplies of OLED, so Cook makes excuses.

That's ridiculous. Apple has the money to buy anything they want. If there are enough OLED screens for TVs and Android phones, Apple could easily get them instead.
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post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's ridiculous. Apple has the money to buy anything they want. If there are enough OLED screens for TVs and Android phones, Apple could easily get them instead.

 

Money? Apple does not know what to do with all that money. Apple has no leadership.

 

There are not enough OLED screens for TVs. No one sells OLED TV yet, and those will be sold soon in very limited quantities. OLED TV panels would not work for phones anyway. Samsung controls 95% of OLED manufacturing wich is mainly its Galaxy phones. In order to provide OLED screens for Apple, Samsung would have to more then double the manufacturing capacity which is a huge task taking a couple of years. That is when we will see OLED iPhones.

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post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's ridiculous. Apple has the money to buy anything they want. If there are enough OLED screens for TVs and Android phones, Apple could easily get them instead.


That isn't true.  Samsung is by far the largest manufacturer of OLED panels for phones by a wide margin.  A couple years ago, they actually downgraded the screen in their Wave 2 model to an LCD, when the original model had an OLED screen.  They did this to divert OLED production capacity to the Galaxy S II to meet demand.  Samsung couldn't have met Apples requirements and their own, so it doesn't really matter that Apple had the money, Samsung didn't have the capacity.

 

I think they have increased their production capacity ten fold recently, but I suspect even so, they wouldn't have much capacity beyond that needed to meet the demand for their own devices.

 

And no way is there enough production capacity for TVs.  Samsung were supposed to have their large panel OLED TV on sale by the end of last year, but that has slipped.

 

Last year, Samsung suffered a shocking theft of their OLED production IP through industrial espionage by an Israeli firm they had contracted for quality assurance.  Some people believed the theft was largely at the behest of very large Chinese panel maker.  Perhaps that Chinese company will soon be able to make large OLED panels and could supply Apple for the touted TV, but Samsung has no spare capacity for large panels whatsoever.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Last year, Samsung suffered a shocking theft of their OLED production IP through industrial espionage by an Israeli firm they had contracted for quality assurance.  Some people believed the theft was largely at the behest of very large Chinese panel maker.  Perhaps that Chinese company will soon be able to make large OLED panels and could supply Apple for the touted TV, but Samsung has no spare capacity for large panels whatsoever.

By Samsung's reasoning, this will be good for innovation.
post #25 of 25

Here's an interesting turn and it has to do with HP. 

 

Remember webOS? HP never completely killed it, altho it's been in a deep slumber. Now according to TheVerge comes LG who's bought up the rights, source code and all the patents. They're also bringing over HP employees still working with webOS. For what you might ask? For their smartTV line of course.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/25/4027018/lg-buys-webos-smart-tv

 

They noted that CNet has pulled their report on it for unexplained reasons. Perhaps they jumped the gun?

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http%3A%2F%2Freviews.cnet.com%2F8301-13970_7-57570990-78%2Fwebos-lives-lg-to-resurrect-it-for-smart-tvs%2F

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