Rumor: Samsung now supplying OLED displays for Apple Watch, Apple sampling OLED for future iPhones

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited October 2015
Apple is said to have begun diversifying its Apple Watch supply chain, bringing Samsung into the fold for its low-power OLED panels, and potentially paving the way for a next-generation iPhone with an OLED panel, according to a new supply chain rumor.




Previously, LG Display was believed to be the sole OLED supplier for all Apple Watch models. But according to South Korea's ETNews, longtime Apple supplier -- and rival -- Samsung has entered the fray.

If true, the report would dispute an earlier rumor from July, which suggested Apple would stick solely with LG through the second-generation Apple Watch.

In addition, Samsung is also said to be providing sample OLED panels that Apple could use in a future iPhone model. To date, Apple has opted to use LCD technology in all iPhone models.

In the past, Apple has introduced new technologies and features in a singular new product, then gradually brought them to other devices in its ecosystem. If Apple were to do the same with OLED, it could bring new advantages to the iPhone, including longer battery life with a "dark" user interface, as well as a thinner, backlight-free panel design.

Tuesday's report, which was first spotted by DigiTimes, alleges that Apple is expected to make a decision in November about whether to include an OLED display in next year's iPhone. To date, Apple has not opted to use OLED in its blockbuster iPhone lineup due to "various production bottlenecks," the report states.




Until Apple makes its decision, Samsung is reportedly in a holding pattern, waiting to decide whether it will invest further in curved OLED panels at its A3 facilities. Efforts to mass produce that technology are said to be still early.

Finally, it was also said that Apple is cooperating more closely with JDI for "higher-end displays," and that the partnership could result in panels for a 2016 iPhone update.

As for the next Apple Watch, it's unknown when a second-generation model is set to debut, though an update isn't expected until at least 2016. The first-generation Apple Watch debuted this April, followed by watchOS 2 and new colors in September, but supply chain rumors have not yet indicated how frequently Apple plans to update the internal hardware in its wearable lineup.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I suspect with iPhone 7 (if that's what Apple calls it) we're going to see a big improvement in the display and camera. I think some of what we saw with the 6s with Live Photos and the dark animated wallpapers are hinting at that. Hopefully that means iOS 10 will offer a dark theme. :)
  • Reply 2 of 38
    I'd expect a MicroLED panel, honestly. They didn't buy LuxVue just for giggles.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member
    It would be awesome if Apple finally used oled on their iPhones. The display on the new Samsung Note is absolutely incredible. My girlfriend is sick of me ooh-ing and aw-ing every time she pulls out her phone and I comment of the screen. She says she gets it, I like the screen. But It really is that good. It's certainly oooh and awe worthy.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    ksecksec Posts: 1,551member

    LG's WOLED is still better for Internet content. The only reason not going for it would be yield issues. 

    I think the Apple watch is a testing ground for Apple intention of LG WOLED display. Once they are ready, the whole production line will move to iPhone. And Samsung can have the smaller Apple Watch screen all they want.

  • Reply 5 of 38
    My experience of OLED is over saturated eye candy, but not very accurate color. However, if as rogifan mentions, Apple adopted OLED, there would be a strong incentive to offer a dark theme. Some of us would vastly prefer a dark theme, particularly in that awful, blindingly white photos app. Don't think there will be a "big improvement" in the camera though. Diminishing returns. The 6s camera is pretty darn good.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 319member

    Yeah, I have to say that the fact that they included the "In addition, Samsung is also said to be providing sample OLED panels that Apple could use in a future iPhone model" in this rumor calls it's veracity into serious question. Apple's current iPhone display has a far superior image to Samsung's amoLED, why would they consider downgrading?

     

    Seems far more logical that this is a strategically planted puff piece made to prop up samsung's sagging image (the most recent numbers indicating samsung is getting slammed in China and Korea where it was assumed they would always reign supreme) If samsung had been a good OEM partner, this story still might be a tiny bit believable, but samsung has shown again and again they have no honor nor trustworthiness.

     

    ?I say this rumor has a near zero possibility of being anything more than an false rumor planted for PR (which samsung has shown time and time again, they have no issue with doing)

  • Reply 7 of 38
    ignomini wrote: »
    My experience of OLED is over saturated eye candy, but not very accurate color. However, if as rogifan mentions, Apple adopted OLED, there would be a strong incentive to offer a dark theme. Some of us would vastly prefer a dark theme, particularly in that awful, blindingly white photos app. Don't think there will be a "big improvement" in the camera though. Diminishing returns. The 6s camera is pretty darn good.

    indyfx wrote: »
    Yeah, I have to say that the fact that they included the "In addition, Samsung is also said to be providing sample OLED panels that Apple could use in a future iPhone model" in this rumor calls it's veracity into serious question. Apple's current iPhone display has a far superior image to Samsung's amoLED, why would they consider downgrading?

    Seems far more logical that this is a strategically planted puff piece made to prop up samsung's sagging image (the most recent numbers indicating samsung is getting slammed in China and Korea where it was assumed they would always reign supreme) If samsung had been a good OEM partner, this story still might be a tiny bit believable, but samsung has shown again and again they have no honor nor trustworthiness.

    ?I say this rumor has a near zero possibility of being anything more than an false rumor planted for PR (which samsung has shown time and time again, they have no issue with doing)

    OLED is actually just as accurate as LCD (and sometimes more accurate). Go check out the reviews of the latest Samsung displays on Anandtech and Display Mate.

    This is a quote from Display Mate's analysis of the display in the Note 5:

    "The Galaxy Note 5 matches or breaks new records in Smartphone display performance for:
    Highest Absolute Color Accuracy (1.4 JNCD), Highest Peak Brightness (861 nits), Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light (183), Highest Screen Resolution (2560x1440), Highest (infinite) Contrast Ratio, and Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle (24 percent). In addition, almost every display lab test and measurement shows some improvements compared to the Galaxy Note 4, the previous record holder, including slightly lower Screen Reflectance (4.7 percent), an 18 to 23 percent improvement display Brightness, and a 21 percent improvement in display power efficiency, so the Note 5 display actually uses less power than the Note 4 in spite of its much higher brightness."

    http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note5_ShootOut_1.htm
  • Reply 8 of 38
    The OLED on the Apple Watch is acceptable. But I prefer LCD.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    19831983 Posts: 1,158member
    ignomini wrote: »
    My experience of OLED is over saturated eye candy, but not very accurate color. However, if as rogifan mentions, Apple adopted OLED, there would be a strong incentive to offer a dark theme. Some of us would vastly prefer a dark theme, particularly in that awful, blindingly white photos app. Don't think there will be a "big improvement" in the camera though. Diminishing returns. The 6s camera is pretty darn good.
    I think the camera on the next-gen iPhone is going to be a major upgrade. They bought up that company a while back that specializes in multi-sensor cameras. We might see some kind of implementation of that tech on the iPhone 7. I also hope Apple moves to OLED displays for the next-gen iPhone too.
  • Reply 10 of 38



    Yep, winner of the spec sheet wars. That's why TV sets have a "store mode." Get 'em with bright, saturated colors. I prefer natural looking colors, brightness, and contrast. I want my photos to look as if I'm standing there looking at the original scene. Not interested in teeny-bopper bubblegum color. Not saying any given display technology can't be great. Just saying machine measured specs are a poor way to judge how our analog eyes actually see things.

  • Reply 11 of 38



    Oops, meant to quote wake finance from above.

  • Reply 12 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    The OLED on the Apple Watch is acceptable. But I prefer LCD.

    Why? There's not much I like about Samsung but the Galaxy display and camera are really good, I would argue better than the 6S.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post





    I think the camera on the next-gen iPhone is going to be a major upgrade. They bought up that company a while back that specializes in multi-sensor cameras. We might see some kind of implementation of that tech on the iPhone 7. I also hope Apple moves to OLED displays for the next-gen iPhone too.

     

    So, you want a less durable display (colors drift with time). Because yes, they haven't solved that problem yet....

     

    But, samsung phones, nobody really keeps them more than 2.5 years so who cares...

  • Reply 14 of 38
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post







    OLED is actually just as accurate as LCD (and sometimes more accurate). Go check out the reviews of the latest Samsung displays on Anandtech and Display Mate.



    This is a quote from Display Mate's analysis of the display in the Note 5:



    "The Galaxy Note 5 matches or breaks new records in Smartphone display performance for:

    Highest Absolute Color Accuracy (1.4 JNCD), Highest Peak Brightness (861 nits), Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light (183), Highest Screen Resolution (2560x1440), Highest (infinite) Contrast Ratio, and Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle (24 percent). In addition, almost every display lab test and measurement shows some improvements compared to the Galaxy Note 4, the previous record holder, including slightly lower Screen Reflectance (4.7 percent), an 18 to 23 percent improvement display Brightness, and a 21 percent improvement in display power efficiency, so the Note 5 display actually uses less power than the Note 4 in spite of its much higher brightness."



    http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note5_ShootOut_1.htm

     

    It can be bright, but it will KILL THE GOD DAMN DISPLAY. That's it.

    That's why you can't set it a highest brightness manually , you have to go into automatic mode.

    In manual mode, max brightness of OLED is much less.

    So, no, it's not as bright.

    Also, color drift has NOT BEEN SOLVED.

    It can only be compensated.

  • Reply 15 of 38
    ignomini wrote: »

    Yep, winner of the spec sheet wars. That's why TV sets have a "store mode." Get 'em with bright, saturated colors. I prefer natural looking colors, brightness, and contrast. I want my photos to look as if I'm standing there looking at the original scene. Not interested in teeny-bopper bubblegum color. Not saying any given display technology can't be great. Just saying machine measured specs are a poor way to judge how our analog eyes actually see things.

    What are you talking about? The measured qualities are exactly what would determine the ability of a display to produce a realistic image. White point, color accuracy, gamma, etc. are either well calibrated or they're not. It doesn't matter whether a display is OLED or LCD; if the display is calibrated properly then images will look natural. OLED, as it turns out, can be better calibrated than an LCD.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    rogifan wrote: »
    I suspect with iPhone 7 (if that's what Apple calls it) we're going to see a big improvement in the display and camera. I think some of what we saw with the 6s with Live Photos and the dark animated wallpapers are hinting at that. Hopefully that means iOS 10 will offer a dark theme. :)

    Think they'll name it iPhone Pro? ????
  • Reply 17 of 38
    foggyhill wrote: »
    It can be bright, but it will KILL THE GOD DAMN DISPLAY. That's it.
    That's why you can't set it a highest brightness manually , you have to go into automatic mode.
    In manual mode, max brightness of OLED is much less.
    So, no, it's not as bright.
    Also, color drift has NOT BEEN SOLVED.
    It can only be compensated.

    I don't see your point. The screen can go into that mode under normal use even if you can't drag the brightness slider far enough to take it there. For the record, the screen on the Note 5 reaches 566 nits with manual adjustment, and even that is higher than the maximum brightness of the iPhone 6, according to Anandtech. They haven't posted results for the 6S or I'd use that for comparison.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,254member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ignomini View Post



    My experience of OLED is over saturated eye candy, but not very accurate color. However, if as rogifan mentions, Apple adopted OLED, there would be a strong incentive to offer a dark theme. Some of us would vastly prefer a dark theme, particularly in that awful, blindingly white photos app. Don't think there will be a "big improvement" in the camera though. Diminishing returns. The 6s camera is pretty darn good.



    While I haven't personally seen a Galaxy Note 5 yet, of the OLED screens I have seen so far, none really impressed me. I also find them to be over saturated, and greens in particular to be (seemingly) less than accurate.

  • Reply 19 of 38
    sog35 wrote: »
    Those measurements are only for a specific moment in time.  Usually when the screen is brand new.

    Look how OLED degrades after a few months.  

    Evidence of that?
  • Reply 20 of 38
    sog35 wrote: »
    evidence is OLED screens have DOUBLE the green pixels than Red and blue.

    Cause the green pixels dim out at double the speed.

    Also OLED is not bright enough to support HDR yet

    Also OLED requires higher resolution panels since they use a pentile grid.  Thus more CPU/battery drain

    That's not evidence that they degrade after several months. Please cite an analysis of an OLED screen after several months of use.

    HDR is a camera function.

    The diamond grid that Samsung uses isn't required. That's just what they've chosen to use to solve whatever engineering problems they were faced with. Higher resolutions do, of course, cause the GPU to work harder and could negatively impact battery life, but that's not a characteristic of an OLED display.
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