Apple rejected OLED screen for next iPhone, developed backup handset

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple reportedly explored the possibility of adding an OLED screen to its forthcoming next-generation iPhone, but ultimately rejected the feature for a variety of reasons, and will stick with an LCD IPS display. The company has also allegedly developed a minor iPhone upgrade as a backup plan in case of production issues.



Taiwanese industry publication Digitimes published a conversation with its senior analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, on Wednesday, in which he broke down the numerous rumors regarding Apple's fourth-generation handset.



With regards to the display, the interview revealed that Apple spoke with Samsung about active matrix OLED panels as far back as in the development of the iPhone 3GS, released last summer. But supply issues were reportedly only one part of the problem with OLED for Apple.



"AMOLED also has display weaknesses," Kuo said. "(Samsung Mobile Display) uses PenTile technology developed by Clairvoyante to produce AMOLED, which is less suitable for displaying text. With Apple quite keen on pushing e-reading businesses, AMOLED may not be the best solution at the moment."



Originally released for the iPad, Apple's iBooks application will make its way to the iPhone with the introduction of iPhone OS 4 this summer. iBooks includes the iBookstore, Apple's digital marketplace for books. The new iPhone application was highlighted as one of the key features of iPhone OS 4 at the operating system upgrade's unveiling in April.



In February, a scientific analysis of the Nexus One's OLED screen found that it was soundly beaten by the LCD display on Apple's iPhone 3GS. Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, found that the Nexus One's bright, eye-catching display also has lots of noise of artifacts, and doesn't accurately reproduce colors.



Though it reportedly will not have an OLED screen, the new iPhone is rumored to have the same in-plane switching (IPS) technology for superior viewing angles found in the 9.7-inch display of the iPad. The screen will also reportedly include fringe-field switching, or FFS, technology, which is said to improve the device's e-book reader functions.



In his discussion with DigiTimes, Kuo also said that Apple began work on the fourth-generation iPhone -- codenamed N90 -- at the end of 2008, but Apple actually has another project, dubbed N91, which is a lesser upgrade.



"It's a parallel product to back up the N90 in case there are major delays due to significant modifications in casing, display resolution, digital camera support and so forth," he said.



Finally, he noted the new iPhone will feature Apple's custom ARM-based A4 processor, built on the Cortex A8 architecture -- the same processor found inside the iPad. Apple did not upgrade to the multi-core Cortex A9 reference design because it requires support at the operating system level to take advantage of the greater horsepower.



"Since the launch schedule of the Cortex A9 processor is estimated for year's end and iPhone 4.0 is not ready to fully utilize a multi-core processor, the A4 is the most likely candidate," Kuo said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 137
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    That was a wise decision by Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 137
    shubiduashubidua Posts: 157member
    I guess the backup plan is standard procedure, like they did with the iPod Touch last year. They are expected to announce a new iPhone, so they will have to deliver. Imagine the outrage if apple didn't announce an iPhone on the 7th ? (not so funny actually, because I want it!!)



    Maybe the 3GS was their back-up model last year?



    Just a thought: as iPhone OS 4.0 still seems to be in beta, how long would it take to put it on iPhones and ship those, as I guess the new ones will not ship with some temporary solutions and you will have to do an update first thing when you buy it. Just wondering how the impact of this will be on the launch date. Any thoughts on that ?
  • Reply 3 of 137
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Good! But I do hope that they are using a better LCD quality, like IPS or FFS, so long as they have more battery life, too.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shubidua View Post


    I guess the backup plan is standard procedure, like they did with the iPod Touch last year. They are expected to announce a new iPhone, so they will have to deliver. Imagine the outrage if apple didn't announce an iPhone on the 7th ? (not so funny actually, because I want it!!)



    Maybe the 3GS was their back-up model last year?



    Just a thought: as iPhone OS 4.0 still seems to be in beta, how long would it take to put it on iPhones and ship those, as I guess the new ones will not ship with some temporary solutions and you will have to do an update first thing when you buy it. Just wondering how the impact of this will be on the launch date. Any thoughts on that ?



    1) If the 3GS was their "back-up model" what was their original choice for the iPhone and why didn't they release it?



    2) The only reason that a new iPhone is inevitable, besides the historical elements, is the lack of supply of current iPhones.



    3) Can you restate your "thought"? All Apple has to do is send the GM to the factory and use that for the first batch. It's not uncommon for an x.x.1 update to come a few days after launch. I expect the GM to hit after the next Beta.
  • Reply 4 of 137
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 281member
    My favourite bit was this:



    Quote:

    Apple has requested memory module suppliers to provide both 256MB (used in iPhone 3GS) and 512MB RAM for compatibility tests. According to our internal tests, iPhone 4.0 Beta is quite memory hungry compared to iPhone 3.0, and with more complex apps, increased multi-tasking needs and a 5-mega-pixel camera built in, the iPhone 4 needs 523MB RAM.



    So how is the 11MB shortfall going to be made up?



    Looks like it will need to be software optimisations.
  • Reply 5 of 137
    shubiduashubidua Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) What do you mean "backup plan"?



    Backup plan = back-up phone in case something goes wrong.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    2) If the 3GS was their "back-up model" what was their original choice for the iPhone and why didn't they release it?



    Maybe the new design with fewer tweaks than this year (No front facing camera and stuff like that). I actually have no idea how long it takes to bring this kind of product to market, so if it started in 2008, I thought it might have been planned for the 2009 release if it goes well enough.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    3) The only reason that a new iPhone is inevitable, besides the historical elements, is the lack of supply of current iPhones.



    Sorry, I don't get your point.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    4) Can you restate your "thought"? All Apple has to do is send the GM to the factory and use that for the first batch. It's not uncommon for an x.x.1 update to come a few days after launch. I expect the GM to hit after the next Beta.



    I am hoping for an early release, so I am trying to speculate on the release dates possible. When they sell the new iPhone, it obviously comes with the GM. So my question is, how long does it take to put the GM, or the actual software, on the phones and ship them. Do they have those things lying around waiting to get the OS copied on the memory and then just to package it and ship? And if thats the case, how long does this procedure take in general. I mean they will need a couple of million units for the first week(s).



    So if there is another beta coming next tuesday ( 1st, for example), then I guess they will have the GM by next friday (4th). So if they want to launch the friday after that (the 11th), I guess it will be to short a time span to do so. I guess in that case, even 2 weeks (18th) will not be feasible, would it ?
  • Reply 6 of 137
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


    My favourite bit was this:



    Quote:

    Apple has requested memory module suppliers to provide both 256MB (used in iPhone 3GS) and 512MB RAM for compatibility tests. According to our internal tests, iPhone 4.0 Beta is quite memory hungry compared to iPhone 3.0, and with more complex apps, increased multi-tasking needs and a 5-mega-pixel camera built in, the iPhone 4 needs 523MB RAM.



    So how is the 11MB shortfall going to be made up?



    Looks like it will need to be software optimisations.



    My testing has shown v4.0 to use less RAM compared to v3.1.3 on a 3GS. I have about 115MB free on my 3GS right now running v4.0. I'm sure the higher resolution will require more RAM from the GPU and the better HW will increase the average RAM usage per app as developers push the envelope, but the OS itself uses less.
  • Reply 7 of 137
    Apple definitely made the right decision here.



    I bought and sold the nexus 1 inside of a month due the oled screen. Beautiful in ideal lighting conditions but nearly useless outside. Nice piece of hardware otherwise.
  • Reply 8 of 137
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    My testing has shown v4.0 to use less RAM compared to v3.1.3 on a 3GS. I have about 115MB free on my 3GS right now running v4.0. I'm sure the higher resolution will require more RAM from the GPU and the better HW will increase the average RAM usage per app as developers push the envelope, but the OS itself uses less.





    Didn't you sign an NDA?
  • Reply 9 of 137
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,899member
    I don't like the sound of "minor upgrade" as a backup plan. Not at all. I think that is actually complete crap.
  • Reply 10 of 137
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


    So how is the 11MB shortfall going to be made up?



    I think you are making to many assumptions here unless you actually have a 4G iPhone in hand. I think you will find that mileage will vary when installed on different hardware. I suspect your numbers are not anywhere near the 2% accuracy you imply with the deficit of 11MB.
  • Reply 11 of 137
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple reportedly explored the possibility of adding an OLED screen to its forthcoming next-generation iPhone, but ultimately rejected the feature for a variety of reasons, and will stick with an LCD IPS display. ...



    Wow. Apple making rational informed decisions about their products and not adding a crappy OLED display just because Engadget and Gizmodo want them to?



    Who'da thunk it?
  • Reply 12 of 137
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Gotta agree with Apple on this one. I have a Nexus One. Unless you set the screen brightness to the absolute highest level, it's unreadable outside.



    That said, I wonder why Apple didn't go Super AMOLED. Those screens have overcome most of the flaws of OLED technology.
  • Reply 13 of 137
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    I don't like the sound of "minor upgrade" as a backup plan. Not at all. I think that is actually complete crap.



    Steady on. In the first place it's so completely unlikely to happen at this point since we've all seen the new design.



    Secondly, with an industrial design project like the iPhone, the "backup" would almost certainly be either the same phone but with missing components that can't be sourced (like the missing camera on the iPod touch last year), or the previous form factor (plastic back 3Gs), with the new components fitted in because the new case design was a fail for some reason.



    Either way, all they are doing here is giving you as close to the new model as can be gotten, (assuming there is something wrong with the production of the new model).



    You would prefer to not get anything rather than a fallback plan where you get 90% of the thing?
  • Reply 14 of 137
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    Gotta agree with Apple on this one. I have a Nexus One. Unless you set the screen brightness to the absolute highest level, it's unreadable outside.



    That said, I wonder why Apple didn't go Super AMOLED. Those screens have overcome most of the flaws of OLED technology.



    I suspect since it has less of a track record and I suspect supplying them in quantity would probably be an issue. Is it even available in the higher density that is claimed for the leaked 4G (double current density of 3GS I think)? Just a guess.
  • Reply 15 of 137
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    Gotta agree with Apple on this one. I have a Nexus One. Unless you set the screen brightness to the absolute highest level, it's unreadable outside.



    That said, I wonder why Apple didn't go Super AMOLED. Those screens have overcome most of the flaws of OLED technology.



    I am wondering the same.. maybe a supply issue? The Samsung Galaxy S has the super AMOLED and is rumered to be heading to AT$T..
  • Reply 16 of 137
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    If it's true, it's nice to get a better screen, IPS is a great improvement, a surprising one because it almost hasn't been used in handheld devices before.
  • Reply 17 of 137
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    I think you are making to many assumptions here unless you actually have a 4G iPhone in hand. I think you will find that mileage will vary when installed on different hardware. I suspect your numbers are not anywhere near the 2% accuracy you imply with the deficit of 11MB.



    What in the world are you getting at???



    columbus was poking fun at a typo.
  • Reply 18 of 137
    Umm, he's only stating the obvious. It says it needs x amount and it only have y amount. What is he assuming?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    I think you are making to many assumptions here unless you actually have a 4G iPhone in hand. I think you will find that mileage will vary when installed on different hardware. I suspect your numbers are not anywhere near the 2% accuracy you imply with the deficit of 11MB.



  • Reply 19 of 137
    I'm just hoping 2 things:



    1. That it's available the same day they announce it.



    2. That the memory thing won't be an issue. My biggest gripe (almost my only one) with my current iPhone 3G is it seems to fill up the memory and bog down way too easily
  • Reply 20 of 137
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shubidua View Post


    I actually have no idea how long it takes to bring this kind of product to market, so if it started in 2008, I thought it might have been planned for the 2009 release if it goes well enough.



    If they started "at the end of 2008" then getting it to shelves 6 month later would be phenomenally fast. So any committee and team Apple starts at the end of 2010 for the iPhone will be or the 2012 iPhone, at the earliest.



    Quote:

    Sorry, I don't get your point.



    Historically, 3 generations of iPhones have all gone on sale within about a month's range of each other for the past 3 years. While this can change if components and production are halted for various logistical reasons, it's unlikely that Apple would halt production of the 3G and 3GS if the G4 iPhone was not, indeed, inevitable within a short time.



    Quote:

    I am hoping for an early release, so I am trying to speculate on the release dates possible. When they sell the new iPhone, it obviously comes with the GM. So my question is, how long does it take to put the GM, or the actual software, on the phones and ship them. Do they have those things lying around waiting to get the OS copied on the memory and then just to package it and ship? And if thats the case, how long does this procedure take in general. I mean they will need a couple of million units for the first week(s).



    This can be easily researched. For example, iPhone v3.0 when GM on 08-JUNE-2009 and the 3G hit stores on 17-JUNE-2009. That is a 9 days.



    They would have been making these devices for some time and then installing the OS after they get the go ahead, then boxing them up to ship.



    Quote:

    So if there is another beta coming next tuesday ( 1st, for example), then I guess they will have the GM by next friday (4th). So if they want to launch the friday after that (the 11th), I guess it will be to short a time span to do so. I guess in that case, even 2 weeks (18th) will not be feasible, would it ?



    I'm expecting another Beta this week as the last one was just a over a week now. It could even go GM now as far as I'm concerned.
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