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Nokia unveils new folding OLED display as rumors say similar tech headed for Apple's 'iWatch'

post #1 of 39
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Nokia's Semiconductor Energy Laboratory has unveiled a new kind of OLED display that can be folded like a book while in use, similar to technology that Apple is thought to be exploring for future iPhones and the long-rumored "iWatch."




The Finnish communications giant demonstrated two foldable, 5.9-inch OLED panels at the annual Display Week conference in San Diego earlier this month, according to Nikkei Tech. The panels were jointly developed by Nokia SEL and Japanese subsidiary Advanced Film Device.

One of the panels can be folded down the middle, while the other can be folded in two places much like a pamphlet. Both 1,280-pixel-by-720-pixel displays can continue display video while folded and are manufactured using a special technique that sandwiches the color filter, TFT, and OLED layers between a sealer and a flexible substrate.

While neither panel can be folded completely like a piece of paper, the fold radius is impressively small and each can be folded and unfolded more than 100,000 times. The single-fold display can be bent to 2 millimeters, while the dual-fold panel can withstand a 4 millimeter curvature.

Despite publicly panning OLED technology in the past, Apple is rumored to have changed its tune when it comes to the so-called "iWatch." Recent reports have indicated that Apple may be planning to utilize a flexible, curved OLED display in the new wearable that would allow for a more sleek, form-fitted design than competing smart watches.

Though concept devices featuring curved or folded designs have existed for more than a decade, the only such products to make their debut have been mobile phones and televisions sporting slightly curved displays. Apple's ample engineering resources and massive war chest put the company in a unique position to fully realize the potential of OLED displays to enable totally new device designs.

Apple has also been seen taking a keen interest in foldable OLED displays for phones, applying for a number of related patents. One such patent covers iPhones with interactive, wrap-around displays, for example, while another deals with using flexible OLEDs to create a "pressable" display.
post #2 of 39
This gives the rumors more credence and if this is apart of the iWatch to give it more visible space then Cue was right in his assertion of great products in the pipeline. It would make all other smart watches look like baby toys. I wonder if this tech also makes the screen more durable from shock/drops/etc. or is it just more durable at the fold point(s).
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post #3 of 39
can't see this happening on an iWatch.

using sapphire over the display will force them to go with a fixed display.
touch over a bending display will be an awkward user experience.
and electronic components won't be bendable so it will remain rigid.
post #4 of 39
Still does nothing as far as convincing me to wear a watch or band. I consider my wrists permanently watch-free.

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post #5 of 39

Two things.

 

One, the Apple patent/rumor-mill speaks of "wearable devices" of which a wrist-watch is just one incarnation of such a device.

 

Two, what if we've all glommed on to the idea that "iWatch" means "wrist-watch" when it means "self watch"? That is, a categorization of devices that watch personal biometrics - of which a wrist-watch is just one incarnation of such a device. "iWatch" becomes a marketing name for a group of devices, not just one.

post #6 of 39
Does it annoy everyone else that every new product release is touted as a competitor for an unreleased Apple device?

There isn't an iWatch. There isn't an Apple TV 4. When there is, Then they can be a competitor. Jeez...

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post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlack View Post

using sapphire over the display will force them to go with a fixed display.

The display being flexible doesn't mean it won't be placed into a fixed position. Same thing for any other component.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/10/14 at 7:59pm

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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Does it annoy everyone else that every new product release is touted as a competitor for an unreleased Apple device?

There isn't an iWatch. There isn't an Apple TV 4. When there is, Then they can be a competitor. Jeez...

 

This is an Apple fansite. Every piece of tech reported on is going to be compared against the nearest Apple product, real or fictional. The wider tech press don't mention Apple in their pieces.

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlack View Post

can't see this happening on an iWatch.

using sapphire over the display will force them to go with a fixed display.
touch over a bending display will be an awkward user experience.
and electronic components won't be bendable so it will remain rigid.

not necessarily mutually exclusive.

 

making a curved display is hard... making one that is curved then locked in place by the touch screen protective layer (sapphire) would be easier.

And I'm not certain that a rumored  watch display will be sapphire covered.

 

electrical components can be placed in discrete units with flex connectors between, like links in a watch band.

 

and touching a 'bent' display that has a solid base (in place around your wrist) is pretty easy... my problem is that the fact it's on your wrist (which itself moves, in 4 degrees of freedom), the touch locations have to be pretty big to allow for the sloppiness of the  target location.

post #10 of 39

Bending to 2mm?

 

iBook anyone?

post #11 of 39
Kind of hard to imagine this on a wrist-worn device until they figure out how to make OLED displays that aren't terrible in bright sunlight. Maybe this has been solved, but the ones I've seen have been deeply flawed in this sense. Other companies might do it anyway, knowing that they would look fine until people buy them and actually start using them, but I can't see Apple doing it, given their track record.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

Kind of hard to imagine this on a wrist-worn device until they figure out how to make OLED displays that aren't terrible in bright sunlight. Maybe this has been solved, but the ones I've seen have been deeply flawed in this sense. Other companies might do it anyway, knowing that they would look fine until people buy them and actually start using them, but I can't see Apple doing it, given their track record.

1) Didn't the Galaxy S5, with its PenTile display get too marks from DisplayMate for usage in bright sunlight?

2) Because of the deeper blacks (aesthetics) and ability to have very few pixels on for simple text or watch hands (power savings) I think OLED seems like the best option for this type of device.

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post #13 of 39

Second only to my shares in Apple, my decision to buy shares in Universal Display which at the time I bought around $5 a share was the best decision I ever made with stock buys. They hold probably more OLED patents than any company in the world. They recently changed their stock symbol from PANL to OLED. All of the old complaints Apple had about OLED have pretty much been solved now so I can see Apple moving to OLED not only with the iWatch but also iPhone and iPad and possibly even the iMac. 

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) Didn't the Galaxy S5, with its PenTile display get too marks from DisplayMate for usage in bright sunlight?

2) Because of the deeper blacks (aesthetics) and ability to have very few pixels on for simple text or watch hands (power savings) I think OLED seems like the best option for this type of device.

Yep. OLED has come a long way so people that bring up all the old shortcomings from previous years are very misinformed. 

 

http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S5_ShootOut_1.htm

"Best Smartphone Display:  Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy S5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested. It has a long list of new records for best Smartphone display performance including: Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. The Galaxy S5 has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch – an impressive achievement for OLED technology!"

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Does it annoy everyone else that every new product release is touted as a competitor for an unreleased Apple device?

There isn't an iWatch. There isn't an Apple TV 4. When there is, Then they can be a competitor. Jeez...

 

Just be secure in the knowledge that Apple is the one everybody looks to for innovation, the one competitors know they have worry about, the company that disrupts entire business models and markets. What you point out solidifies Apple’s position as the world leader no matter what the techie wannabe crowd rambles on about who did what first or what their precious spec sheets tout. The world waits to see what Apple releases this Fall, not Samsung, not Google, not Microsoft.

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

This is an Apple fansite. Every piece of tech reported on is going to be compared against the nearest Apple product, real or fictional. The wider tech press don't mention Apple in their pieces.

 

Nonsense. The ‘wider tech press’ mentions Apple every single day. Granted it’s usually about Apple’s impending doom, it’s supposed inability to innovate any longer, the mandatory ‘five things Apple must do to survive’ crap. Even Paul Thurrott and Rob Enderle mention Apple just about every other day or so. 

post #17 of 39
just a thought. iWatch may not mean a wrist worn timepiece. IIRC, Steve said he had cracked the TV game. Could iWatch be some sort of "smart agent" or something else related to TV? I can't help but think of Knowledge Navigator...

again just a thought...
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Yep. OLED has come a long way so people that bring up all the old shortcomings from previous years are very misinformed. 

http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S5_ShootOut_1.htm
"Best Smartphone Display:  Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy S5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested. It has a long list of new records for best Smartphone display performance including: Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. The Galaxy S5 has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch – an impressive achievement for OLED technology!"

Raymond Soneira's feverish mind at work, plus his obvious recent pro-Samsung, anti-Apple blather.

This doesn't change the point you have in mind for quoting him: OLED has come a long way.

One thing he never mentions is the expected lifetime of the OLED display, compared to LCD. Stability, in other words. I'm curious about that.

I once emailed Dr. Soneira and offered to edit his reports, to take out his rogue capitalizations and de-nerd his prose. I didn't put it quite that way, but needless to say I didn't hear back from him.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Still does nothing as far as convincing me to wear a watch or band. I consider my wrists permanently watch-free.

 

You sound like one of those old geezers who say there is no need for a touch screen phone.  Physical button are the best.

 

Times change, tech changes.  Only the stubborn and crusty refuse to have an open mind.

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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


Raymond Soneira's feverish mind at work, plus his obvious recent pro-Samsung, anti-Apple blather.

This doesn't change the point you have in mind for quoting him: OLED has come a long way.

One thing he never mentions is the expected lifetime of the OLED display, compared to LCD. Stability, in other words. I'm curious about that.

I once emailed Dr. Soneira and offered to edit his reports, to take out his rogue capitalizations and de-nerd his prose. I didn't put it quite that way, but needless to say I didn't hear back from him.

Wait...what? I read his review of the iPhone 5 display and he heaped praise on it. He wrote a shootout with the S4 and gave the iPhone a better grade on a number of tests and had very positive things to say about the iPhone display. That site seems to be very well done and I see no evidence of bias. So just because OLED has improved which is obvious to anyone that has actually seen a S5 display in person he is anti-Apple? 

 

OLED's will far outlast the time for the useful lifespan of any modern smartphone. Who cares if they don't last 15 years on a phone you will likely discard in 2 or 3 max. If you can find a more thorough review site than display mate please post the link. I would have ignored your condescending email as well. If you think you can do better then have at it. 

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Wait...what? I read his review of the iPhone 5 display and he heaped praise on it. He wrote a shootout with the S4 and gave the iPhone a better grade on a number of tests and had very positive things to say about the iPhone display. That site seems to be very well done and I see no evidence of bias. So just because OLED has improved which is obvious to anyone that has actually seen a S5 display in person he is anti-Apple? 

OLED's will far outlast the time for the useful lifespan of any modern smartphone. Who cares if they don't last 15 years on a phone you will likely discard in 2 or 3 max. If you can find a more thorough review site than display mate please post the link. I would have ignored your condescending email as well. If you think you can do better then have at it. 

I was basing what I said on his report on the iPad mini retina, in which he pronounced the use of displays with that color gamut "inexcusable," if I remember correctly. There are reasons for that compromise that he was in a position to know about, such as the unavailability of IGZO or LTPS in quantities that Apple would require, yet he chose to rag on Apple about it, giving rise to a widespread impression that Apple cheaped out on the mini retina display.

I haven't seen the iPhone 5 review, no time to look at it now, so I'll get back on that point. To his credit, he was the only one that I saw who reported that the iPad Air used an IGZO display.

Glad to hear that you can think in terms of 15 years for OLED phone displays. That would negate my concern, because as you say phones aren't used for that long anyway. I would think Apple would find a three-year display lifespan unacceptable, though.

His site seems the product of a loose cannon using a PC to me. Very messy. Start with his fetish for the term "shoot-out." Yosemite Sam tries tech writing . . . Oh, and I wasn't condescending when I wrote him. Just wanting to help, and all that, for real, because he is the only one doing what he's doing. But then he came out with that iPad mini review, and I could only conclude that he doesn't see that he has a problem with credibility.
Edited by Flaneur - 6/10/14 at 10:48am
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CogitoDexter View Post

Bending to 2mm?

iBook anyone?

It is possible. This is just one of what are dozens of companies working on foldable displays. I'm not sure if the term iBook will be used but I do expect to see a foldable iPad fairly soon. Maybe not this year but it will happen within a few years.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


Raymond Soneira's feverish mind at work, plus his obvious recent pro-Samsung, anti-Apple blather.

This doesn't change the point you have in mind for quoting him: OLED has come a long way.

One thing he never mentions is the expected lifetime of the OLED display, compared to LCD. Stability, in other words. I'm curious about that.

I once emailed Dr. Soneira and offered to edit his reports, to take out his rogue capitalizations and de-nerd his prose. I didn't put it quite that way, but needless to say I didn't hear back from him.


The display in my son's Samsung Jet is still fine after 5 years continuous use so i don't think longevity will be a problem given the average churn rate for electronic gadgets these days.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

You sound like one of those old geezers who say there is no need for a touch screen phone.  Physical button are the best.

Times change, tech changes.  Only the stubborn and crusty refuse to have an open mind.

Only the crusty and young would believe that wearing a watch sends the right message to the rest of the world. More often than not isn't sends a massage to those around you that you are an ass and a user of people. It isn't about an open mind at all, it is the problem of associating your self with the wrong sorts of people be they the ass or the vain.

Beyond that every person alive these days care what is effectively a pocket watch. In fact many cell phones aren't much bigger or heavier than the pocket watches the railroads used to run their business over a century ago. The only difference is that iPhones run far more business and a far wider variety of businesses.

To reflect upon this in another way look at Google Glass. Great technology but truly socially unacceptable. Maybe Apple can find a way to market iWatch so that it resists the negativity associated with some of this tech but it wouldn't take much to develop significant backlash. Simply putting a camera in iWatch would get it banned from lots of places.
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Second only to my shares in Apple, my decision to buy shares in Universal Display which at the time I bought around $5 a share was the best decision I ever made with stock buys. They hold probably more OLED patents than any company in the world. They recently changed their stock symbol from PANL to OLED. All of the old complaints Apple had about OLED have pretty much been solved now so I can see Apple moving to OLED not only with the iWatch but also iPhone and iPad and possibly even the iMac. 
OLED tech is improving but so is LCD tech and even conventional LED tech. Apple will make a move when there is a real advantage to do so. Just like they went IGZO when it made sense and the tech was ready. In the end it probably comes down to power usage for Apple.

I sit at my old iPad 3 and frankly can't imagine the screen getting much better. Reduced reflectivity would be nice but there are ways to address that with LCD tech.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Only the crusty and young would believe that wearing a watch sends the right message to the rest of the world. More often than not isn't sends a massage to those around you that you are an ass and a user of people. It isn't about an open mind at all, it is the problem of associating your self with the wrong sorts of people be they the ass or the vain.

WTF??

You need help, buddy. :lol: 

post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

The wider tech press don't mention Apple in their pieces.

Oh yes they do.  They most certainly do.

 

Thompson

post #28 of 39
Apple panned the OLED displays at that particular time for use in larger displays because of their inaccurate color and depth. However, on a small panel display, such as that which would be used on an iWatch where color perfection is not a priority, OLED will do just fine. It's not like people are going to be doing high-end color matching on a display that is fitted around their wrist, like the pros do on 27-inch and 30-inch cinema quality displays.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Still does nothing as far as convincing me to wear a watch or band. I consider my wrists permanently watch-free.

So if/when Apple releases a wearable utility that has so many useful features that it ends up as much like a "watch" as the iPhone is like a "phone" (in other words, not like one at all) then you will be able to revisit your sentiment.  You will perhaps even be able to purchase and wear one but say your wrist is still watch-free.  You may even be able to say that this is much more than just a "band".

 

In other words, you might as well wait to see what this wearable thing really is and does.  I mean, the convincing can't really start until you know those things, so why bother forming an opinion now?  Even if they call it an "iWatch" just for branding sake, my guess is that it will bring in a lot of people like you (and I) who really don't want to wear a "watch".

 

Thompson

post #30 of 39
It looks like Apple will buy some OLED screens from Samsung, aince Apple does not have this type of technology at all.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

It looks like Apple will buy some OLED screens from Samsung, aince Apple does not have this type of technology at all.

Does Apple actually have any screen technology at all, other than design and prototype?  Don't they always go to external vendors to manufacture displays?

 

If so, is Samsung the only vendor in the OLED space?

post #32 of 39

I think a perfect application for these flexible displays and curved screens is for use in VR headsets like the Oculous Rift to provide even greater field of vision and a more immersive experience.

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post
 

Does Apple actually have any screen technology at all, other than design and prototype?  Don't they always go to external vendors to manufacture displays?

 

If so, is Samsung the only vendor in the OLED space?

 

Right, Apple doesn't do any in-house manufacturing and Apple has little or no display screen techs themselves; Apple's recent acquisition of LuxVue notwithstanding.

 

Samsung is pretty much the only supplier / consumer in the mobile OLED space. For instance, Samsung's AMOLED world marketshare is still close to 95%.  It's not that there is no demand outside Samsung -- HTC tried it, but later switched to LCD due to production shortages at Samsung in 2010. No other display makers have been able to produce them in reliable volume. 

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


The display in my son's Samsung Jet is still fine after 5 years continuous use so i don't think longevity will be a problem given the average churn rate for electronic gadgets these days.

Good to know, thanks.
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Only the crusty and young would believe that wearing a watch sends the right message to the rest of the world. More often than not isn't sends a massage to those around you that you are an ass and a user of people. It isn't about an open mind at all, it is the problem of associating your self with the wrong sorts of people be they the ass or the vain.
 

 

Ok, I don't think I understood this properly. How does wearing a watch mean that you are an ass and a user of people?

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

So if/when Apple releases a wearable utility that has so many useful features that it ends up as much like a "watch" as the iPhone is like a "phone" (in other words, not like one at all) then you will be able to revisit your sentiment.  You will perhaps even be able to purchase and wear one but say your wrist is still watch-free.  You may even be able to say that this is much more than just a "band".

In other words, you might as well wait to see what this wearable thing really is and does.  I mean, the convincing can't really start until you know those things, so why bother forming an opinion now?  Even if they call it an "iWatch" just for branding sake, my guess is that it will bring in a lot of people like you (and I) who really don't want to wear a "watch".

Thompson

If it's as thin and unobtrusive as a rub-on tattoo, I may revisit my statement. Otherwise, I've no interest.

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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If it's as thin and unobtrusive as a rub-on tattoo, I may revisit my statement. Otherwise, I've no interest.

So if it's the thickness of 2 rub-on tattoos you're out? 1biggrin.gif

Seriously though, I think the trick to a wearable, especially one worn on the wrist, is unlike nothing we've seen attempt to capitalize the market. I think it'll be more of an iPhone accessory than trying to replace phone features and will good replacement to phone features that currently work well but really aren't suited for a handheld device, like with the various fitness trackers that monitor steps via the accelerometer and pulse rate with the camera and flash.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/11/14 at 9:54am

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post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So it's the thickness of 2 rub-on tattoos you're out? 1biggrin.gif

Seriously though, I think the trick to a wearable, especially one worn on the wrist, is unlike nothing we've seen attempt to capitalize the market. I think it'll be more of an iPhone accessory than trying to replace phone features and will good replacement to phone features that currently work well but really aren't suited for a handheld device, like with the various fitness trackers that monitor steps via the accelerometer and pulse rate with the camera and flash.

😃👍

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