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Rumor: Apple testing 1.5" OLED displays for wearable 'iWatch'

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Development of Apple's rumored smart watch is allegedly gaining momentum, as a pair of new reports claim the company is testing 1.5-inch OLED screens for a wrist-worn device, and that Foxconn has been contracted to build a trial batch.

The latest rumors on Apple's so-called "iWatch" were highlighted on Monday by Macotakara. The publication spotted pair of reports from Taiwan's Economic Daily News which, like other publications that print unattributed rumors stemming from Apple's supply chain, has a hit-or-miss track record.

iWatch
Artist's rendition of purported Apple smartwatch. | Source: Yrving Torrealba


In the first report, the publication claims that Apple is testing organic light emitting diode displays for its anticipated smart watch. The company allegedly tested 1.8-inch panels, but felt they were too big, prompting development to go smaller with 1.5-inch displays.

According to the report, Apple is exploring 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens manufactured by RiTdisplay of Taiwan that use one-glass-solution touch sensors. This would allow the display component to be as thin as possible for the wearable accessory.

It should be noted that rumors for years have claimed that Apple is interested in OLED displays, but to date the company has never used the display technology in any of its devices. OLED screens could, however, be an optimal choice for wearable technology because of their low power consumption levels.

In a second report, the Daily News claims that Foxconn, Apple's longtime manufacturing partner, has already received orders for an "iWatch." However, the initial production run is said to be for no more than a thousand units, as Foxconn is allegedly running a "small-scale trial production."

With "iWatch" rumors heating up, one survey from last month found that 19 percent of consumers are interested in buying such a device from Apple. That exceeds pre-announcement interest in both the iPad and Intel-based Mac hardware.

Rumors of an Apple smart watch began growing earlier this year, when a number of reports claimed that the company is developing a wearable wrist accessory. One such report claimed that the company has a 100-person team working on the project.
post #2 of 64
Considering the 1" display of the iPod Nano 1.5" seems quite large. If it's not square then the area could be reduced considerably thus making it more realistic. And OLED does make sense on an accessory device, especially if most of the display remains black most of the time. That said, I have zero faith in this rumour.

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post #3 of 64
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Considering the 1" display of the iPod Nano 1.5" seems quite large. If it's not square then the area could be reduced considerably thus making it more realistic. And OLED does make sense on an accessory device, especially if most of the display remains black most of the time. That said, I have zero faith in this rumour.

 

Maybe it's 1.5" and 16:9. You're right in that it can't get much larger… square.

 

I don't put much faith in the watch rumor in the first place, though if it's the go-between needed to show me iPhone/iPad stuff without depocketing/decasing it, I'm probably all over it.

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post #4 of 64

This can't be right.  Everyone knows that Apple doesn't have any new products in the pipeline and that their only hope is to release iPhones in different shapes and sizes and at a lower price to stay alive. /s

post #5 of 64
This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid

People said the same thing about cellphones, too, but those seem pretty popular. I don't think it's wise to deny the wearable computer market and I can see many ways in which Apple could leverage their expertise to make this a great solution for users.

"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 #7 of 64

I would not be interested in such a device.  Athletic types might be though.  Runners etc that is.  This is probably a replacement for one of the iPods.

post #8 of 64
Quote:
The publication spotted pair of reports from Taiwan's Economic Daily News which, like other publications that print unattributed rumors stemming from Apple's supply chain, has a hit-or-miss track record.

hit-or-miss in AI article speak is code for "totally worthless for anything other than article padding".
post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

hit-or-miss in AI article speak is code for "totally worthless for anything other than article padding".

Pretty much, but this thread will likely offer many insights and ideas that would have otherwise not happened if this worthless rumour wasn't posted.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/20/13 at 8:19am

"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

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post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Considering the 1" display of the iPod Nano 1.5" seems quite large. If it's not square then the area could be reduced considerably thus making it more realistic. And OLED does make sense on an accessory device, especially if most of the display remains black most of the time. That said, I have zero faith in this rumour.

 

The iPod Nano that could have been worn as a watch had a 1.54 inch screen, not 1-inch.

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP593

post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid

+1

iWatch is just too big to be a usable wearable and/or health monitoring device with the potential addressable market of the current iPod nano customer base which is big but shrinking day by day.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Pretty much, but this thread will like offer many insights and ideas that would have otherwise not happened if this worthless rumour wasn't posted.

1smile.gif
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post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to the report, Apple is exploring 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens manufactured by RiTdisplay of Taiwan that use one-glass-solution touch sensors. This would allow the display component to be as thin as possible for the wearable accessory.

Also small enough to fit on a TV remote.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

hit-or-miss in AI article speak is code for "totally worthless for anything other than article padding".

Otherwise known as "aiPadding".
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post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

The iPod Nano that could have been worn as a watch had a 1.54 inch screen, not 1-inch.

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP593

Mea culpa et gratias. That does make the rumour even less reliable knowing it's a size Apple has used before.

"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 #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I would not be interested in such a device.  

I would be. So would three other people I know.

 

What does that prove?

post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid

+1

iWatch is just too big to be a usable wearable and/or health monitoring device with the potential addressable market of the current iPod nano customer base which is big but shrinking day by day.

 

What the **** are you talking about? Have you saw one, already?
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid

Interest take on a product you couldn't know anything about.
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 #19 of 64

I don't know why so many people are so negative about this rumor. It doesn't matter that you haven't worn a watch in X years, or you think "a watch is just a fashion statement". You are falling into the trap of thinking about a "watch" in terms defined long ago.

 

I think of this idea as a more functional Google Glass, for your wrist, that doesn't require you to wear glasses, or make you look like as much of a douche.

 

That said, I hope this rumore comes true. I, for one, am interested to see what Apple could do with a wrist-worn phone/ipod/tablet companion, but I give it a 50% chance of ever coming to fruition.

 

EDIT: grammatical


Edited by KazKam - 5/20/13 at 8:11am
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

The iPod Nano that could have been worn as a watch had a 1.54 inch screen, not 1-inch.

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP593

In know. Such silliness round here.
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 #21 of 64
I want one with all the health sensors. I wouldn't have to buy a replacement fitbit then. Otherwise, I can pull my phone out of my pocket, TYVM.
post #22 of 64
I'm looking forward to seeing if they use liquidmetal as the frame material. A tiny bit would offer great strength and mitigate the need for machining...
post #23 of 64
I hope it is waterproof for us scuba divers and snorkelers. Info for depth, pressure, time under, GPS, locator beacon etc. plus built in HD video camera and LED flash light ... OK I'm day dreaming here ... 1biggrin.gif
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post #24 of 64
If a small company in the UK can put all of this tech into a watch then I'm looking forward to seeing Apple's version.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/orsto-x1-the-ultimate-smart-watch

Yes it's fairly ugly but it's an impressive feat.

Saying that, we know what Apple are like when they create a new product. they don't necessarily do all they can so they have something easy to update next time.
post #25 of 64
I think most people tend to forget how technology is evolving. We are at a point where we want information faster, and what is essentially constraining our access to that information is the speed at which we pull our devices out of our pockets or purses. Once Apple improves Siri, an iWatch would be a marvelous device. When paired with an iDevice, a user could respond to texts, emails, and perhaps (cross our fingers) voice control a television. Imo, Google Glass is a misstep considering privacy concerns, an iWatch on the other hand, is a better upgrade of a smartphone. Dick Tracy 2.0.
post #26 of 64
When I contemplate a wrist product I wonder: we gave up and freed ourselves of the shackle of a wrist watch when our smartphone tells perfect time, sets itself to the local time wherever we are and is always accurate.

Execpt for the fad factor why would we wanna go backwards UNLESS Apple has made the wrist mode something spectacular. Why would we want to have another piece of expensive equipment to plug in and charge daily, upgrade and update software on, keep care not to loose or forget, try to fit under our long sleeve shirts, sweaters, etc.? Even Star Trek did away with wrist-borne apparatus.

Just because its Apple doesn't guarantee a solid winner. Remember the Lt. Unhura-like wifi ear piece Apple finally retired? Not a winner. Blue Ant, Motorola and others did it better or something.

The wrist product can mostly be only an extension of the phone. It will require two hands, not one, to operate; one to wear or support and the other to activate it. Voice activation? Maybe. Is it always on?

Thinking it through further I question how important it will be to deliver a better iPhone experience to the user. Doesn't seem, now, to be vital. We are all trying to limit the "invasion" smartphones have made in our lives.

It seems to be an accessory to the iPhone not a replacement.
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

If a small company in the UK can put all of this tech into a watch then I'm looking forward to seeing Apple's version.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/orsto-x1-the-ultimate-smart-watch

Yes it's fairly ugly but it's an impressive feat.

Saying that, we know what Apple are like when they create a new product. they don't necessarily do all they can so they have something easy to update next time.

I see a lot of issues.

  • Stylus and built-in holster included.
  • Android 4.0 adds a lot of overheard and it's foolish want access to all those Google Play apps.
  • It's a standalone phone with SIM card.
  • It's has a micro-USB port.
  • No mention of battery life is a huge red flag.

If you aren't even going to say how long this is going last I'm calling this a fail right off the bat. This is the classic thing we've seen with pretty much every other vendor besides Apple for decades where they advertise all these features but little to no concern for usability or user experience. Remember how the iPhone didn't stand a chance in Japan because they had such advanced phones with innumerable features?

Most of the points mentioned just sound horrible to me. I can barely play Angry Bird Star Wars on my 4" iPhone so them showing it on a watch face just makes me shake my head.

I also dislike the way the display looks on that face. I do agree that a round face is more ideal but they are still using a rectangular display which makes it look unattractive. if you're technology calls for a rectangular display then you need to use a rectangular face unless you can find a solution that alters it. Nest does this by covering up the corners of the display so it appears circular, but they also have the benefit of building a larger casing around a standard display. I don't think actually round displays are available yet.

if Apple goes this route I don't expect a stylus (which means the UI is designed for how a user would interface with the product), no cellular HW whatsoever (make it an accessory to your iDevice), and I would expect them to have decent battery life as this is very important to the UX.

"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 #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

iWatch is just too big to be a usable wearable and/or health monitoring device with the potential addressable market of the current iPod nano customer base which is big but shrinking day by day.

 

It IS? Really?

 

How can you say that the "iWatch", a purely speculative, still rumored device is already "too big to be wearable"? Based on what??

 

Maybe it's really small, thin and light, and turns out to be a perfect "integrated" device that gives you "hands-free" access to your home, computer, phone, tablet, car, is voice activated, and also makes a great health and exercise monitor, the list of possibilities goes on.

 

Surely you can "imagine" just a little bit of potential there? Seriously…

 

If the best you can do is imagine something "too big", it's a good thing YOU don't work on the Apple Design Team...

post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This whole watch idea is such a joke. Anyone that would wear one of these needs their head checking. Would look absolutely ridiculous. It will just be a poorer secondary screen to your iphone. Stupid

No, your post is a joke. The watch concept is infinitely less ridiculous and infinitely more socially acceptable than Google glass. It's also incredibly useful. A ton of people wear watches. So someone that wears a watch that also offers a ton more functionality, including preventing someone from pulling their phones out of their pockets a hundred times a day, then that person needs their "heads checked"? You do know that thousands of people are currently strapping Google glass on their faces right? The watch concept is benign, practical, and unobtrusive.
post #30 of 64

Ooh, maybe the iWatch is actually the new "cheaper" iPhone….

 

Calling Dick Tracy!

post #31 of 64
I am still not sure this is a viable product, but then it seems Apple isn't sure yet either.

I can think of lots of uses for a wrist accessory, but each one of the uses only has a small addressable market. Apple could merely copy what others are doing with a health/sport accessory but the number of people who run is simply not that large and getting smaller all the time.

On the other hand, if they add everything into this device we've been hearing like Siri integration, notifications etc. it will burn a hole in your wrist and have a half hour battery life.

Finally, if the 1.5" (or even 1") rumour is true, then this is a large bulky device. How many people will wear it and for how long? This could easily be Apple's first flop and as big a disaster as Google Glass.
post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I would not be interested in such a device.  Athletic types might be though.  Runners etc that is.  This is probably a replacement for one of the iPods.

I consider myself pretty athletic; everyday I'm either biking, running, hiking or swimming; but I can't wrap my head around wearing one.

Sure, if it turns out to be real, they will sell millions. I am one person, not the entire market, but I can't see buying this when my iphone/iPod already does all of this on a larger screen

Just my .02 of course.
post #33 of 64

I really think this could be big if they come up with a health related program and programs to save money.  Obesity is such a big issue if they could tie this into something to monitor calories burned versus eaten, maybe food suggestions instead of junk food, a price comparison system for shopping (it's amazing how many people cant figure out 4.99 for 24oz is a lot better than 3.99 for 20ozs), and stuff like that.

 

Of course the other thing it could do is let people record all the stupid mundane crap they do every day and download it directly to facebook or something.  God knows people seem to enjoy posting all kinds of idiotic stuff so anything that makes it easier would probably be successful.  

 

Either way curious to see what this does.

post #34 of 64

Hey, why not reveal all this info so that competitors can get a leg up on Apple?  Why can't we just be surprised when Apple reveals new products?  Then when the actual product is released and it's not up to the hyped up rumors the stock tanks and people are disappointed. Everyone loses.  

post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


No, your post is a joke. The watch concept is infinitely less ridiculous and infinitely more socially acceptable than Google glass. It's also incredibly useful. A ton of people wear watches. So someone that wears a watch that also offers a ton more functionality, including preventing someone from pulling their phones out of their pockets a hundred times a day, then that person needs their "heads checked"? You do know that thousands of people are currently strapping Google glass on their faces right? The watch concept is benign, practical, and unobtrusive.

 

Exactly. There is already the social acceptability to wear a watch, especially if they can make a great-looking one. I see a good number of people in my tech-centric workplace wearing Pebble watches and Fitbits, which are kind of goofy-looking and don't even really do much. Imagine an Ive-designed watch with the ability to read emails/sms/alerts and respond back using Siri without taking your phone out. It wouldn't need to be a high powered device to do this. Just the ability to do micro-airplay for the display and bluetooth audio back to the iPhone.

post #36 of 64
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It should be noted that rumors for years have claimed that Apple is interested in OLED displays, but to date the company has never used the display technology in any of its devices. OLED screens could, however, be an optimal choice for wearable technology because of their low power consumption levels.

 

Interesting.  1.5" screens would be a safe and sane first step toward using OLED screens in all Apple products with screens.  Smaller screens give higher yields (hence lower costs), since a bad pixel would affect only a small 1.5" screen instead of an iPad mini-sized, or full Thunderbolt Display-sized screen.  As the production technology matures, yields will go up, costs will go down, and Apple could start rolling out OLED screens on their other screen-based products.

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post #37 of 64
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

... Imagine an Ive-designed watch with the ability to read emails/sms/alerts and respond back using Siri without taking your phone out. It wouldn't need to be a high powered device to do this. Just the ability to do micro-airplay for the display and bluetooth audio back to the iPhone.

 

I think you're right.  The Apple watch would just be a peripheral.  A screen with a mic, plus Bluetooth for AirPlay + Siri.

 

And, looking 5 or 10 years down the road, the Apple television set could be built around same basic concept.  Just a big screen with a mic for Siri, and AirPlay for receiving images from the Apple TV hockey puck (which will always be around).  One difference: it might have an iSight camera for biometrics and gesture-based controls.  

 

I say 5 or 10 years because I think Apple will wait until 4K UHDTV technology becomes cheaper and more widely used (and when there is more 4K content.)  Not convinced that Apple would want to dive into the current HDTV market, aside from improving the Apple TV box once in a while.

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post #38 of 64
Nike is selling plenty of smart watches with Garmin GPS in them. Nike Fuel is a successful product. The smart watch market exists.

Would be nice if the watch projected a 3D hologram you could manipulate by using gestures.
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

I don't know why so many people are so negative about this rumor. It doesn't matter that you haven't worn a watch in X years, or you think "a watch is just a fashion statement". You are falling into the trap of thinking about a "watch" in terms defined long ago.

 

I think of this idea as a more functional Google Glass, for your wrist, that doesn't require you to wear glasses, or make you look like as much of a douche.

 

Plus, if they put a "front facing" camera in it (rear facing wouldn't be very interesting), you could use it for FaceTime calls. With Google Glass, you'd need a mirror for that.

post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


The watch concept is infinitely less ridiculous and infinitely more socially acceptable than Google glass. It's also incredibly useful. A ton of people wear watches. So someone that wears a watch that also offers a ton more functionality, including preventing someone from pulling their phones out of their pockets a hundred times a day, then that person needs their "heads checked"? You do know that thousands of people are currently strapping Google glass on their faces right? The watch concept is benign, practical, and unobtrusive.

At present, I think many would consider the iWatch if/when they are looking to REPLACE their existing watches.  Currently (like the next 2 yrs), I can't see technology of the iWatch (e.g. battery life, display, content, size, etc.) meeting enough of the expected functionality/specs....and so I don't think the majority will go out looking to buy an iWatch right away as they were with the iPod and iPad mini.  2 yrs from now it'll be a totally different story.

 

Glasses will probably take another 5-10 yrs to catch on, unless you're an Iron Man suit designer like Tony Stark.

 

This may stir argument, but I almost think that this iWatch concept should go the way of the current Apple TV...make it a "hobby".  If thousands are strapping glasses to their faces, then hundreds of thousands would try the iWatch.  Would be incredibly useful to gain user feedback to improve this into an evolutionary accessory.  There are too many potential areas of failure (like breakage, battery life, comfort, fashion...) to launch this product with the confidence of other Apple products.  Personally, a watch is so....ummmm, personal?

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