AMOLED display seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Given their high cost and a lack of supply in the 10.1-inch size, AMOLED displays are highly unlikely to be a part of Apple's forthcoming touchscreen tablet, a new report has concluded.



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



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



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



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



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



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



OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, deliver color pictures without the need for a backlight. They consume less energy and provide a superior picture. Some smaller portable devices, such as Google's Nexus One and Microsoft's Zune HD, employ them for display.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    I am sticking my bet on OLED. If I lose I believe I will owe someone a penny.
  • Reply 2 of 77
    Thank god~!

    IMHO,

    NO OLED = WIN
  • Reply 3 of 77
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post


    Thank god~!

    IMHO,

    NO OLED = WIN



    In what sense?
  • Reply 4 of 77
    Oh, we should have heard something about that for sure....



    P.S. The only evident OLED advantage is energy efficiency. Since when is Apple concerned for energy efficiency?
  • Reply 5 of 77
    That's assuming the tablet will come with a 10-inch screen. It's no coincidence that at CES Ballmer showed three prototypes of varying sizes from other manufacturers. The competition is unsure of which direction Apple will take.



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



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



    Anything is possible but all those rumours based around a 10-inch screen, I suspect, is a case of Apple "leaking" misinformation to disorient the competition. Looks like it worked.
  • Reply 6 of 77
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    I can't even believe some people gave the OLED screen any possibility in it coming out.



    I guess some people just do not know the current state of OLED screens manufacturing.
  • Reply 7 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


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



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



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



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



    Personally, I would almost like a bit larger screen for this device, maybe 12 inches, for the kind of screen real estate needed for webpages, movies, and especially word productivity suites. This is a laptop replacement as far as I can see, and as such a larger screen size necessary.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


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



    That would be MOST of us. If you're one of the people with genuine knowledge, please share it. (Quoting ARS doesn't count).
  • Reply 9 of 77
    motleemotlee Posts: 122member
    Wow this is getting kind of stale.



    Whatever you write this week, Ill find someone "on the inside" who will say the opposite next week. Fantastic reporting.
  • Reply 10 of 77
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


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



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



    But I understand it's kind of tough on the lap.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    Whether one likes it or not, the best screen for viewing in in-direct bright light, e.g., sunny day outdoors, indoors near a window, etc., is on a glossy back-lit. Non-glossy back-lits are second.



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



    Other types of monitors lie in between.



    Walking around with AMOLED display would be a nightmare.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


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



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

    you'd be eating your hat . . .
  • Reply 13 of 77
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    What a crazy prediction. <sarcasm> Other things we don’t need an article to tell us…
    • Etch-A-Sketch® display seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

    • Windows XP seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

    • 20lb case made of Lego seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report

    • 3mm x 5ft display seen as unlikely for Apple tablet - report
  • Reply 14 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


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



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



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



    I don't think many grasp just how enormous a difference there would be between the current Touch and a device sporting a screen in the 5-inch to 7-inch range. As for what you would do with such a device, I would argue you'd do pretty much what is already being done with the Touch, only on a bigger device browsing, reading, playing games, and watching movies would be that much more enjoyable. Trying to come up with a tablet that goes much further, well that's just the sort of miscalculation I would expect from a Microsoft or any of Apple's hardware competitors. I expect better from Apple. I expect a product that works very well and doesn't try to offer functionality for which it's ill-suited. To me, at this time, that rules out a 10-inch tablet.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    neilmneilm Posts: 874member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


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



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



    However the popular belief that OLED displays have lower power consumption isn't entirely correct. Conventional displays have a constant power draw from the backlight (for a given brightness setting). OLED displays need varying power depending on whether they're showing lighter or darker content. When the screen is darker their power consumption is lower, but when it's lighter they actually use more power due to the OLED's lower lumens/watt efficiency.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    Apple is very interested in energy efficiency



    Well, neither iPhone, nor Magic Mouse support your point. While Apple's notebook line apparently does.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    If this were another iPhone-sized device, OLED would be a bigger deal. But I imagine this new device is going to have plenty of real-estate under the hood for an enlarged battery. We already know they can get everything needed to run an iPhone-like device into an area 3x5x.5 inches - fitting in a double or triple-sized battery size shouldn't be a big deal.









    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


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



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



  • Reply 18 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ozoner View Post


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



    IMO, tablet should rather near notebooks in its degree of mobility. On the other hand, I won't be surprised, if Apple fails to keep energy consumption and battery life satisfactory.
  • Reply 19 of 77
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


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



    I'll stick with ya on that bet too. Apple has to do something special with the display because it's going to be an extremely important part of this product's success.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    I don't agree that the tablet should be a laptop replacement. That's exactly the mistake made with netbooks.

    [...]

    I expect better from Apple. I expect a product that works very well and doesn't try to offer functionality for which it's ill-suited. To me, at this time, that rules out a 10-inch tablet.



    I agree with everyting you stated up until

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