Apple planning jump to OLED for 2018 iPhones, report claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Apple is working to switch to OLED displays for iPhones beginning in 2018, a major Japanese publication reported on Wednesday.




The corporation has already notified suppliers about its intent, and LG Display is ramping up capacity accordingly, Nikkei claimed. LG was recently revealed to be planning a new Korean factory valued up to $4.2 billion, but there was no indication that the company was specially targeting the iPhone or even Apple.

At the moment Apple has only one product with OLED -- the Apple Watch -- for which LG is the exclusive display provider.

Nikkei suggested that LG will likely be joined by Samsung, since the latter can more reliably mass-produce OLED panels and LG might not have the capacity to meet iPhone demand. Samsung has provided a number of parts for Apple in the past, including LCDs.

It was also speculated that LG's limits might force Apple to offer both OLED and LCD iPhones, but this may be unlikely given the company's preference for keeping screens consistent across products. While the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus use displays with different sizes and resolutions for instance, they share the same underlying technology and produce similar results.

OLED panels are flexible, and top LCDs in both power use and visual quality. Some functions can potentially deteriorate, but Apple is reportedly talking with both display suppliers and the makers of manufacturing equipment, hoping to eliminate these issues within the next year or so.

Earlier this month KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo argued that OLED wouldn't come to iPhones until at least 2019, citing continued investments in LCD manufacturing by companies like Foxconn.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Uh oh. Let the Androidification of iOS begin. You will like the new dark theme! Black is your new favorite color! /s
  • Reply 2 of 35
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,437member
    2018 is a long way... this is 2015... almost 2016... and we have to wait for three years.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I wonder if it would be worth the revenge if Apple subsidized LG's manufacturing plant to help meet demand and take Sammy out of it's display business permanently.
    This would give Apple more control and profit in the long term.

    Just a wild idea.
  • Reply 4 of 35

    Maybe it might have something to do with this patent?

     

    "Apple's Most Advanced OLED Display Invention to date Surfaces with a Fingerprint Reader under the Display of an iPad"

     

    This is related to iPad but I can't see why it can't apply to iPhone.

     

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2015/11/apples-most-advanced-oled-display-invention-to-date-surfaces-with-a-fingerprint-reader-under-the-display-of-an-ipad.html

  • Reply 5 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by netrox View Post



    2018 is a long way... this is 2015... almost 2016... and we have to wait for three years.

    Exactly, Apple is always working with new technologies trying to improve their products - so yes they are working to a better OLED if they can, if not then it will be something else.  Rumours like this are only good for clickbait.

  • Reply 6 of 35
    Uh oh. Let the Androidification of iOS begin. You will like the new dark theme! Black is your new favorite color! /s

    Sarcasm aside, if they do move to OLED for other devices besides wOS they would have to switch up to a mostly black UI if they want to maximize power efficiency. Because using browsers, or rather black text on a mostly white background is so common on handhelds and traditional PCs, I'm not convinced that will happen (but I can see how it could happen if OLED technology gets to a certain point that benefits Apple over LCD).

    cali wrote: »
    I wonder if it would be worth the revenge if Apple subsidized LG's manufacturing plant to help meet demand and take Sammy out of it's display business permanently.
    This would give Apple more control and profit in the long term.

    Just a wild idea.

    That's an interesting power play. I like it.

    canukstorm wrote: »
    Maybe it might have something to do with this patent?

    "Apple's Most Advanced OLED Display Invention to date Surfaces with a Fingerprint Reader under the Display of an iPad"

    This is related to iPad but I can't see why it can't apply to iPhone.

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2015/11/apples-most-advanced-oled-display-invention-to-date-surfaces-with-a-fingerprint-reader-under-the-display-of-an-ipad.html

    Note the patent was filed in Q2 of 2014. That's just shy of the Apple Watch being announced. While I can see the benefit of an iPhone, iPad, (and even a Mac Touch Pad and Siri Remote) having Touch ID built-in, I would think the best benefit might come from it being on the Apple Watch.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Sarcasm aside, if they do move to OLED for other devices besides wOS they would have to switch up to a mostly black UI if they want to maximize power efficiency. Because using browsers, or rather black text on a mostly white background is so common on handhelds and traditional PCs, I'm not convinced that will happen (but I can see how it could happen if OLED technology gets to a certain point that benefits Apple over LCD).

    Yeah, of course I was playing with expectations. I'm only semi-convinced because Ming says it will happen. MR "reports" aren't evidence enough for me, otherwise. But I believe Apple is design focused enough to find a way to keep their existing bright UIs. Many of the activities we do on a smartphone, like web browsing and watch videos aren't "OLED optimized." And letting that dictate things like UI design feels backward, like letting the tail wag the dog. I'm plenty happy with the LCD display on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. I don't know what OLED solves apart from possibly making future iPhones thinner and lighter. It is entirely possible that Apple WON'T change their UI like every know-it-all in the forums assumes, if they can achieve their battery life & outdoor readability targets with future OLED tech.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    I'm only semi-convinced because Ming says it will happen. MR "reports" aren't evidence enough for me, otherwise. But I believe Apple is design focused enough to find a way to keep their existing bright UIs. Many of the activities we do on a smartphone, like web browsing and watch videos aren't "OLED optimized." And letting that dictate things like UI design feels backward, like letting the tail wag the dog. I'm plenty happy with the LCD display on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. I don't know what OLED solves apart from possibly making future iPhones thinner and lighter. It is entirely possible that Apple WON'T change their UI like every know-it-all in the forums assumes, if they can achieve their battery life & outdoor readability targets with future OLED tech.

    I pay zero attention to where the rumour comes from. I look only at the technological relevance of it. As you note, OLED currently isn't power optimized for anything other than blacks, and I'm not sure that will change. Now, other factors like politics or panel costs, and even power for a certain pixel colours could lean in Apple's favour, but right now I'm not seeing it, and that's before we get to usage life for OLED v LCD.

    As for thinness, with all the other display components, especially now with a better digitizer in the iPad Pro and 3D Touch in the 6S-series it's like having slightly thinner piece of cheese on a deli sandwich (guess who is hungry right now? :)), but Apple also does want things to be thinner, although I've not seen them do it at the risk of losing something vital like power efficiency to get it.

    Regardless, even if we assume this rumour is 100% authentic it's for a project that is still 3 years out so we're really still in the testing and planning phase where untold things will happen. Hell, in that time frame, culture will change as a result of technology that will likely alter how Apple proceeds.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    If this is true, it's crazy to think that Apple is already designing (or has already designed) the iPhone 8, assuming that they carry on with the same numbering system. I guess it makes sense, the iPhone 7 must already be designed and ready for manufacturing, due for sale in 10 months. The 7S should be the same design as the 7, with just an upgrade in components. And so the 8 is being created now..
  • Reply 10 of 35
    The best part of all is that next year's iPhone won't be called iPhone 7 - or iPhone anything, for that matter. In keeping with Apple's recent trend, next year's iPhone and iPad will be rebranded as:
    %uF8FFPhone and %uF8FFPad

    The whole numbers system is inherently flawed. Very soon the numbers become silly and distracting. Instead, each year we'll get a new version (or two or three) of the Phone and Pad. No numbers to remember. It'll throw the rivals off course - yet again!

    They've done it with the %uF8FFWatch, %uF8FFTV and with the Mac OS (it's OS X from now on, no matter what version, Yosemite, El Capitan, etc.). This is the new face of Apple branding. Learn to love it! Soon, all keyboards will have to have a shortcut for the Apple symbol.

    Just my tuppence worth, folks. Take it or leave it!

    Edit: those %uF8FF things are supposed to be the Apple symbol (they show up fine while I'm writing the comment). Sorry that they don't show up here. You'll have to use your imaginations...if anyone knows how to get them into a comment here, I'd be delighted to find out.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member

    opt+shift+k=?

  • Reply 12 of 35
    canukstorm wrote: »
    Maybe it might have something to do with this patent?

    "Apple's Most Advanced OLED Display Invention to date Surfaces with a Fingerprint Reader under the Display of an iPad"

    This is related to iPad but I can't see why it can't apply to iPhone.

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2015/11/apples-most-advanced-oled-display-invention-to-date-surfaces-with-a-fingerprint-reader-under-the-display-of-an-ipad.html


    So home button will likely stay at least through iPhone 7/7s :(
  • Reply 13 of 35
    The most annoying comment from OLED proponents is the supposed advantage of the large viewing angles.

    That matters zero in mobile.

    Viewing angles are for TVs...
  • Reply 14 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Yeah, of course I was playing with expectations. I'm only semi-convinced because Ming says it will happen. MR "reports" aren't evidence enough for me, otherwise. But I believe Apple is design focused enough to find a way to keep their existing bright UIs. Many of the activities we do on a smartphone, like web browsing and watch videos aren't "OLED optimized." And letting that dictate things like UI design feels backward, like letting the tail wag the dog. I'm plenty happy with the LCD display on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. I don't know what OLED solves apart from possibly making future iPhones thinner and lighter. It is entirely possible that Apple WON'T change their UI like every know-it-all in the forums assumes, if they can achieve their battery life & outdoor readability targets with future OLED tech.

    Not optimized for video watching? Are you serious, ever watch a dark scene in a movie and then realize you are actually watching grey and not black? Go watch a movie on a plasma and then you will never go back to LCD.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I pay zero attention to where the rumour comes from. I look only at the technological relevance of it. As you note, OLED currently isn't power optimized for anything other than blacks, and I'm not sure that will change. Now, other factors like politics or panel costs, and even power for a certain pixel colours could lean in Apple's favour, but right now I'm not seeing it, and that's before we get to usage life for OLED v LCD.



    As for thinness, with all the other display components, especially now with a better digitizer in the iPad Pro and 3D Touch in the 6S-series it's like having slightly thinner piece of cheese on a deli sandwich (guess who is hungry right now? image), but Apple also does want things to be thinner, although I've not seen them do it at the risk of losing something vital like power efficiency to get it.



    Regardless, even if we assume this rumour is 100% authentic it's for a project that is still 3 years out so we're really still in the testing and planning phase where untold things will happen. Hell, in that time frame, culture will change as a result of technology that will likely alter how Apple proceeds.



    Yes, I believe that if Apple wasn't holding OLED to a higher standard for image quality, color accuracy, thinness, power optimization, and longevity, all without compromise, they'd have shoved it into an iPhone years ago.

  • Reply 16 of 35

    Coincidentally, an OLED breakthrough has just been reported:

     

    http://www.displaydaily.com/display-daily/33142-itri-reports-breakthrough-in-oled-lifetime

     

    Although this "Plasmon-Coupled Organic Light Emitting Diode (PCOLED)" development is related to lifetime (perhaps not as important for mobile devices), the article does suggest it could be ready for commercial production in a couple of years.

  • Reply 17 of 35
    So tired of this story line. We hear it 2-3 times a year. Tech moves too quickly to make assumptions like this. Apple is on top of probably 4 or more display solutions at any given time and probably constantly testing, revising and researching new tech.
    And who cares? Really. Does this make anyone say "Oh finally, I can buy an iPhone because it has 'x' tech in it now."? They use the best tech they can develop themselves or buy. They care about all the things mentioned in posts above and more.
    Whatever makes the best product they can build and sell is what they use.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Thank you, Crowley. However, I'm working from an iPad Air 2. I have the symbol as a shortcut in the Keyboard settings (aaaa). It appears when I type it but disappears when I submit my post. Sigh.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    staticx57 wrote: »
    Not optimized for video watching? Are you serious, ever watch a dark scene in a movie and then realize you are actually watching grey and not black? Go watch a movie on a plasma and then you will never go back to LCD.

    I'm referring to power-optimization. The average video lights up most of the pixels most of the time (there's rarely a totally unlit pixel). Unlike viewing "dark themed" static web pages (like Ars Technica), which has been optimized for reducing the number of lit pixels (and therefore power consumption) on OLED phones.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    ksecksec Posts: 1,569member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post

     

    Maybe it might have something to do with this patent?

     

    "Apple's Most Advanced OLED Display Invention to date Surfaces with a Fingerprint Reader under the Display of an iPad"

     

    This is related to iPad but I can't see why it can't apply to iPhone.

     

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2015/11/apples-most-advanced-oled-display-invention-to-date-surfaces-with-a-fingerprint-reader-under-the-display-of-an-ipad.html


     

    You do need an OLED display with over 500ppi to have touch ID working. Which means not at the current resolution. I would think even 2018 is slightly too early for that.

Sign In or Register to comment.