Apple Watch supplier LG Display plans to spend $4.2B on new OLED plant

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited November 2015
LG Display is planning to spend up to $4.2 billion on a new factory in Paju, South Korea in order to meet demand for OLED screens -- some of which could potentially make their way into future Apple products.




The company expects to need the capacity from 2017 on, said Korea's Digital Times, quoted by Taiwan's DigiTimes. Talks will reportedly be held later this month to finalize the decision and its details.

LG Display panels are used in a number of devices, including phones, tablets, and TVs. One of its chief clients is Apple, and indeed the company is believed to be the sole supplier of OLEDs for the Apple Watch.

Digital Times did not suggest what kind of OLEDs the Paju complex might produce. At the moment, the Watch is the only Apple product to use the technology, as other Apple devices rely on more conventional LCDs. OLEDs are generally considered superior in terms of visual quality, power consumption, and durability, but are also more expensive to produce.

Some rumors have hinted that Apple could switch to OLED on devices like iPhones in the next several years. That might be dependent on OLED costs coming down however, and fully exploiting the power differences would require a darker user interface than the one seen in iOS 9. OLED panels save much of their energy by selectively illuminating pixels.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    "LG Display plans to spend $4.2B"

    But what about the burn-in, the burn-in! Are they mad? How can there be high demand with such a serious problem?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    It's about time Apple brings OLED to their entire product line.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    cnocbui wrote: »
    "LG Display plans to spend $4.2B"

    But what about the burn-in, the burn-in! Are they mad? How can there be high demand with such a serious problem?


    With OLED the sky is truly falling.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post



    "LG Display plans to spend $4.2B"



    But what about the burn-in, the burn-in! Are they mad? How can there be high demand with such a serious problem?



    different use case for OLED in a watch screen vs laptop/tablet/phone screen in terms of how long it stays on.

    According to Apple, Watch was created for fast (5-10 sec) lightweight interaction...unlike a laptop/tablet/phone.

  • Reply 5 of 12
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Anton Zuykov View Post

     



    different use case for OLED in a watch screen vs laptop/tablet/phone screen in terms of how long it stays on.

    According to Apple, Watch was created for fast (5-10 sec) lightweight interaction...unlike a laptop/tablet/phone.


     

    Yeah, burn in is pretty hard when it's on 30 minutes per day maximum.

     

    It's not just burn-in, it's also aging that shifts colors. On something like the watch it is less of an issue, but on something like a tablet or a laptop that would be a major problem.

  • Reply 6 of 12
    LG Display is planning to spend up to $4.2 billion on a new factory in Paju, South Korea in order to meet demand for OLED screens -- some of which could potentially make their way into future Apple products.

    Well, LG sure isn't planning on filling any demand for high-end Samsung phones or watches.

    Maybe the extra production is to fill a future demand bump Apple has ordered. New product category coming??
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    Yeah, burn in is pretty hard when it's on 30 minutes per day maximum.

     

    It's not just burn-in, it's also aging that shifts colors. On something like the watch it is less of an issue, but on something like a tablet or a laptop that would be a major problem.


    Seriously, it doesn't burn in after 5 seconds of use.

     

    LCDs are also susceptible to color shifts as well as the backlight ages. That would also be noticable on tablets on laptops. It is fixable on a mac where you can re-calibrate it, but it is not something you can do on iOS.

  • Reply 8 of 12
    I suspect LG is betting that the demand for OLED televisions will eventually exceed LCD's. Some of their new 4K OLED TV's are simply stunning!
  • Reply 9 of 12
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    Yeah, burn in is pretty hard when it's on 30 minutes per day maximum.

     

    It's not just burn-in, it's also aging that shifts colors. On something like the watch it is less of an issue, but on something like a tablet or a laptop that would be a major problem.




    This colour shift which does not appear on my 5 years of use phone (as with the absence of any burn-in) - is it an issue with OLED TV's?  Not that anyone would dream of having a TV on for any length of time.

     

    I'm still waiting for the burn-in on my six years old Panasonic Plasma TV.

  • Reply 10 of 12
    ksecksec Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmadave View Post



    I suspect LG is betting that the demand for OLED televisions will eventually exceed LCD's. Some of their new 4K OLED TV's are simply stunning!

     

    This is likely the case for a true Apple TV. ( I hope ) There are many many analyst arguing the case against Apple making TV, saying replacement cycle and lack of profit margin due to competition.

     

    Well, yes those may well be true, but then Apple might as well stop making Airport Express, AirPort Extreme, or heck even the Mac Pro.

     

    I dont want to switch Remote, and switch to HDMI 1 / 2 input etc.

  • Reply 11 of 12
    The cost isn't necessarily due to OLED being superior technology but rather a less mature and therefore harder to manufacture product. It also suffers from numerous QC issues that's no longer affecting LCD. All these issues lead to the product being lower yield especially compared to LCD.

    Low yield is fine for most manufacturers including Samsung which doesn't sell as many single model phone as Apple. I think the fact that Apple needs to fill an order in the magnitude of 10-13 million iPhones upon release makes using or gambling in low yield (with inconsistency in QC) component a risky endeavor irregardless of how superior the technology is.

    Another more pertinent issue is how AMOLED/OLED displays white background. Here are two comparisons of the iPhone 6s Plus right next to a Samsung Note 5 (using Samsung latest Super AMOLED display) and a Nexus 6P (using a slightly older version of Samsung AMOLED panel):

    iPhone 6s Plus vs Note 5

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/JWwoiF7.png[/IMG]

    Nexus 6P vs iPhone 6s Plus

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/LiEE9T6.png[/IMG]

    Apple probably also wants to wait till the OLED technology reaches a point where it wouldn't have issue with white balance. No so much an issue with WatchOS due to the use of dark/black background but iOS (and OS X) uses a lot of white which isn't ideally suited for AMOLED at this point.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MykeM View Post



    The cost isn't necessarily due to OLED being superior technology but rather a less mature and therefore harder to manufacture product. It also suffers from numerous QC issues that's no longer affecting LCD. All these issues lead to the product being lower yield especially compared to LCD.



    Low yield is fine for most manufacturers including Samsung which doesn't sell as many single model phone as Apple. I think the fact that Apple needs to fill an order in the magnitude of 10-13 million iPhones upon release makes using or gambling in low yield (with inconsistency in QC) component a risky endeavor irregardless of how superior the technology is.



    Another more pertinent issue is how AMOLED/OLED displays white background. Here are two comparisons of the iPhone 6s Plus right next to a Samsung Note 5 (using Samsung latest Super AMOLED display) and a Nexus 6P (using a slightly older version of Samsung AMOLED panel):



    iPhone 6s Plus vs Note 5



    JWwoiF7.png



    Nexus 6P vs iPhone 6s Plus



    LiEE9T6.png



    Apple probably also wants to wait till the OLED technology reaches a point where it wouldn't have issue with white balance. No so much an issue with WatchOS due to the use of dark/black background but iOS (and OS X) uses a lot of white which isn't ideally suited for AMOLED at this point.

    It is actually the LCD panel used in the iPhone which is wrong. The 6S is actually worse than the 6.

     

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