Rumor: Apple's iPhones could adopt flexible OLED displays in 2018

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
South Korean display manufacturers are trying to persuade Apple to use flexible OLED screens for future iPhones, although the first such models might not ship until 2018, a report claimed on Wednesday.




Apple is "serious" about switching iPhones from IPS to OLED technology, as it would allegedly improve areas like accuracy, brightness, and saturation, an industry source told BusinessKorea. At the moment the only Apple product with a flexible OLED display is the Apple Watch, with a screen no larger than 42 millimeters.

"It is very likely that the first flexible iPhone may be introduced in 2018, as Apple's top-tier display suppliers are working on it," the source said, referring to Samsung and LG Display, both of whom are believed to be Watch panel suppliers.

LG Display is reportedly planning to switch one of the LCD lines at its Gumi plant over to OLED to expand its general OLED capacity, with the goal of mass production in 2017.

A move to flexible OLEDs could in theory allow Apple to produce curved iPhones, possibly in the style of LG's own G Flex2, or simply phones able to bend under pressure. That could reduce the likelihood of accidental damage, with or without a case.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    Curved screens would not be pocket friendly and serve no benefit for me IMO...Hope they flat...
  • Reply 2 of 63
    Aren't OLED's LESS accurate than IPS displays? Or is that just Samdung's variants?
  • Reply 3 of 63
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,216member
    Is making curved screens the only reason to move to OLED? Surely there are other reasons but for Apple only when the OLED technology is 100% guaranteed to be an improvement. In my experience Apple only adopts new technologies when Apple's engineers truly feel that technology can meet all of their stringent requirements. Other manufacturers jump on anything that seems to give them an edge even if it is not ready for prime time, then again they hang on to technologies well past their prime too! Of course Apple often lead in a new technology's deployment but that's when they have developed it in house or co developed such as Thunderbolt.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    South Korean display manufacturers are trying to persuade Apple to use flexible OLED screens for future iPhones,

    if true, these manufacturers have it backwards -- apple will convince them of what technology they want to use, not the other way round.
  • Reply 5 of 63
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    larrymagoo wrote: »
    Curved screens would not be pocket friendly and serve no benefit for me IMO...Hope they flat...

    Last I checked my body has more curved areas than flat ones. I had a curved phone and it fit just fine in my pocket.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Why on earth would I%u2014or anyone with sense%u2014want a "flexible iPhone"? Like a couple of flip phones I had, that flexibility hurts reliability. I hope this isn't more of Ive's artistic silliness like thinness.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    Aren't OLED's LESS accurate than IPS displays? Or is that just Samdung's variants?

    The current crop of OLEDs are indeed less accurate. They're constantly being improved on, and in all likelihood will equal or surpass the accuracy of IPS in the near future.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Why on earth would I%u2014or anyone with sense%u2014want a "flexible iPhone"? Like a couple of flip phones I had, that flexibility hurts reliability. I hope this isn't more of Ive's artistic silliness like thinness.



    Given how hard Apple has worked to eliminate flex from their devices, especially the laptops, I suspect they're aware of this.

  • Reply 9 of 63
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    OLED now please. Make it happen Jony.

    I saw another rumor that the 6S would feature a SiP instead of traditions PCB. Is that even possible for iPhone? It would be amazing if they could miniaturize to that level to make room for more battery.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    flex screens by 2018
    no home button by 2017

    stop.

    What next?

    holographic screens by 2030?

    Jony Ive says the Apple Watch has a "flexible retina display". I'm assuming a number of watch technologies will make their way to iPhone and iPad. But I highly doubt flexible means curved phone. There is nothing curved about Apple Watch.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    Aren't OLED's LESS accurate than IPS displays? Or is that just Samdung's variants?

    No, they have a wider color gamet. The problem is that the gamet is bigger than the standard sRGB, and so, without calibration, they look garish. But starting with the S5, Samsung has been calibrating its high end phone displays as Apple has with theirs. Their latest display quality is excellent.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,216member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Jony Ive says the Apple Watch has a "flexible retina display". I'm assuming a number of watch technologies will make their way to iPhone and iPad. But I highly doubt flexible means curved phone. There is nothing curved about Apple Watch.

    So which interpretation of flexible did you take Jony to be using?

    1. Capable of bending easily without breaking.

    2. Able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    Is making curved screens the only reason to move to OLED? Surely there are other reasons but for Apple only when the OLED technology is 100% guaranteed to be an improvement. In my experience Apple only adopts new technologies when Apple's engineers truly feel that technology can meet all of their stringent requirements. Other manufacturers jump on anything that seems to give them an edge even if it is not ready for prime time, then again they hang on to technologies well past their prime too! Of course Apple often lead in a new technology's deployment but that's when they have developed it in house or co developed such as Thunderbolt.

    I see no purpose to a curved screen. This seems to be just a way of trying to increase poor sales, such as curved screens in tvs. It took decades to get screens properly flat, and now some want to curve them again.

    I swear, some people are just noggin headed.

    Right now, in order to get sufficient brightness, AMOLED screens need the Pentile arrangement, such as Samsung uses, which has a white sub pixel in every pixel. This results in a need for a higher Rez screen, otherwise, the screen looks course, particularly with type and fine graphics.

    As a result, you need the 1440 screen the S6 has to duplicate the effective visual resolution the 1080 screen the 6+ has, this means more work for the GPU, and more memory wasted. The software and hardware also need to break the image up into four "colors" instead of three—w-r-g-b instead of just r-g-b.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    inkling wrote: »
    Why on earth would I%u2014or anyone with sense%u2014want a "flexible iPhone"? Like a couple of flip phones I had, that flexibility hurts reliability. I hope this isn't more of Ive's artistic silliness like thinness.

    I'll tell you exactly what this is—it's a rumor that has absolutely no substantiation. It also has nothing to do directly with anything Apple is interested in, or is working on, as far as anyone knows. All it appears to be is an attempt of some manufacturers to get Apple to buy their products.

    Take that as it is, without reading anything else into it.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I hope digital touch comes to iPhone and iPad. No sense leaving it Watch only feature. And more people will use it on the Watch if it works with other iOS devices.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    So news media is learning to push their 'rumors' out several years so they can get the click bait AND no one remembers what they said..

    Nice! /s
  • Reply 17 of 63
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So which interpretation of flexible did you take Jony to be using?

    1. Capable of bending easily without breaking.

    2. Able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions.

    I don't know. But I don't think it meant curved. I don't see Apple doing a curved phone ever.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    melgross wrote: »
    I'll tell you exactly what this is—it's a rumor that has absolutely no substantiation. It also has nothing to do directly with anything Apple is interested in, or is working on, as far as anyone knows. All it appears to be is an attempt of some manufacturers to get Apple to buy their products.

    Take that as it is, without reading anything else into it.

    Well Apple is using OLED on the watch and Jony Ive did seem very enthusiastic about the Watch display over the current iPhone display in that New Yorker article. I'm sure Apple is experimenting as they do with lots of things. Of course that doesn't mean we'll see iPhone's with OLED screens anytime soon.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    The current crop of OLEDs are indeed less accurate. They're constantly being improved on, and in all likelihood will equal or surpass the accuracy of IPS in the near future.

    The quality of the image on the Samsung S6 is considered to be slightly higher than that of Apple's newest phones, as measured by Displaymate. Now that Samsung calibrates their high end devices, as Apple does, the quality has increased dramatically.

    There is nothing wrong with the color quality of AMOLED screens. They just need to be calibrated, as all screens do, including Apple's.

    The one area they are still behind in is maximum brightness. As OLEDs are much more sensitive to heat than conventional LEDs, and their efficiency is still lower, high brightness, which needs higher current, results in higher temperatures, which results in shorter lifetime. So Samsung's latest phones, the S6 series still have a maximum settable brightness of about 350 nits, compared to the 550-600 nits of the iPhone 6 series. But Samsung does realize that in direct sunlight, AMOLEDs are not nearly bright enough. So they have a peak brightness of about 600 nits ONLY in direct sunlight. You can't set to that level, because it will burn the screen out well before the normal lifetime.

    The Apple Watch AMOLED also isn't that bright, registering about 350 nits. That's likely a concern for Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I don't know. But I don't think it meant curved. I don't see Apple doing a curved phone ever.

    I really hope not.
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