Rumor: LG nearing deal to supply 'iWatch' OLEDs, Samsung not a candidate

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Rumors of Apple's so-called "iWatch" are surfacing once again in the Far East, with one report claiming LG Display is closing in on a deal to supply a portion of the device's flexible OLED screens, while longtime supply partner Samsung will be shut out of the project.

Wearable Device


Citing an "expert," The Korea Herald on Tuesday reported that LG is close to furthering its partnership with Apple, and may soon ink a deal to provide screens for the Cupertino company's much rumored "iWatch."

"LG Display has been in talks over flexible organic light-emitting diode panels for quite a while and it looks like it will be sealing the deal with Apple," the anonymous source said.

Currently, LG supplies Apple with LCD panels for the iPad, MacBook and iMac product lineups.

Along with LG, Taiwan's RiTDisplay is also rumored to be a main contender for Apple's purported wearable device. In May, a report claimed Apple was looking into the firm's 1.5-inch one-glass touchscreen technology, which would allow the iWatch to be as thin and light as possible.

Notably absent from the list of possible suppliers is Samsung. According to the publication's sources, Apple recently met with the Korean tech giant to discuss the matter, but discussions fell flat. Samsung is currently marketing its own smart watch in the Galaxy Gear, which has seen negative reviews from critics and high return rates from consumers.

Apple has yet to use OLEDs in any of its consumer products, but the power-sipping tech is a good fit for small portables like a smart watch. The iWatch rumor has been circulating for some time, and is continually on the verge of "launching soon." The most recent chatter points to a 2014 unveiling, but hard evidence supporting a near-future debut has yet to surface.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    They will steal that anyway.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I wonder if part of the reason for the iPhone 5c was to learn/get experience with the latest plastics, in preparation for the iWatch?
  • Reply 3 of 17
    OLEDs??
    what about IGZO?
  • Reply 4 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    And so it begins.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I'm aching to see how this iwatch plays out, I'm betting on a device that will change the whole wearables game
  • Reply 6 of 17
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    Considering the recent rumors about Apple hiring RF people with speed, my guess is the A8 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, And TouchID all on one chip, and it's the basis for their first wearable, debuting ASAP, hopefully fall '14.

    Also I still think the new AppleTV debuts next June with its own App Store and is a key track for the debeloper's Conference.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,350member
    bananaman wrote: »
    OLEDs??
    what about IGZO?

    That's exactly why i suspect this rumor of being false.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    The latest curved glass smartphone offerings from Samsung and LG are made with the technology apple is looking for and are prototypes for the displays they will have to build for Cupertino. And both of them try to show apple they can build curved devices. "Sign with me" "no, no, sign with me..."

    This of course based on the assumption no mentally sound person would want a curved smartphone (besides "show off" but then again I'd question their sanity)
  • Reply 9 of 17
    "Expert"?

    The quotation marks come off for Ming-Chi Kuo. :)
  • Reply 10 of 17
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    bananaman wrote: »
    OLEDs??
    what about IGZO?

    Are you wanting to trade one buzzword for another? OLED as a rumor makes some sense as you can have a very black watch face using zero power with slim but distinct white lines for a watch face. This has advantages over LCD if you want the watch face to be active for longer periods of time. Of course, e-Ink uses even less power but that comes with additional shortcomings.
  • Reply 11 of 17

    The OLEd displays I have seen have been pretty bad in bright sunlight, which I always suspected was the reason that Apple doesn't use them despite the other strengths of that technology. I imagine that would make them a poor choice for wrist-based computers too.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    After Samsung's Galaxy Gear flame-out, Apple should think long and hard about providing a solution to non-existent problem. At best it should be a "hobby" like the first Apple TV.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bananaman View Post



    OLEDs??

    what about IGZO?

     

    This misconception needs to stop. IGZO is a material for thin-film transistors. IGZO does not compete with LCD or OLED displays, it's a part of them.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple has yet to use OLEDs in any of its consumer products, but the power-sipping tech is a good fit for small portables like a smart watch.

     

    And maybe also on future iPhones.  There are rumors that Apple will release a bigger-screen iPhone next year with a 440-dpi touchscreen.  It may be possible to use a common display technology in the next-gen iPhone (possibly 1920x1080) and the "iWatch."

  • Reply 15 of 17
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  • Reply 16 of 17
    Wearable developers, technologists, designers, telecom and hardware providers are set to attend Wearable Computing Conference 2013 in New York next November 7, the biggest forum on wearable technologies on the East Coast.
  • Reply 17 of 17

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