Multiple OLED display patents surface from Apple

“In a new batch of patents that have come to light, we see that Apple is focused on bringing OLED displays to iOS and other types of devices sometime in the coming months or years,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“like all patents, Apple tells us that their technology isn’t limited to that of a tablet device and that their OLED display technology will of course apply to other devices such as an iPhone (mobile phone), iPod touch (personal digital assistant PDA), a computing system (e.g. MacBook) and an Apple TV (a set top box),” Purcher reports. “Say what? Unless the set top box is integrated into an HDTV – I don’t really get where an OLED display would come into play in an Apple TV in its current form. I don’t know about you, but that latter image is now stuck in my head. I mean, why in the heck did Apple throw that into that mix of products in that manner? Perhaps it’ll all make sense in the future.”

Purcher reports, “Apple’s primary OLED patent is found under application 20100321305. Apple’s patent is generally about driving an OLED display structure that is integrated with a touch sensor configuration.”

More in the full article, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, here.


  1. A thin display iMac is very likely. I saw OLED displays in Vegas and they’re sweet. Whether Apple could figure out how to actually work it is another thing. But I think it could be a real option in the future.

  2. De-link your 17 inch screen from the lap-top. Fold it in half. And, voila, you have a 17-inch touch screen iPad like thingy. It’ll weigh nothing and do everything. Put it in a stand and it becomes a dandy TV. Fold it and put it in your briefcase and it is your “laptop”.

    Imagine how comparatively neanderthal the first iPod was (that we all love, love, loved) and see how that product has advanced and changed. Use the same imagination looking at your iPad and it is not too far fetched to imagine what will emerge in the future.

  3. Maybe that’s why there was a rumor about a new plant for such displays making Apple the third plant. I don’t know enough about IPS vs. OLED but it seems that OLED is where the “industry” is going. So scale will push OLED.

  4. I know OLED is more environmentally friendly, but is it also more energy efficient?

    I believe the only thing keeping Apple from taking this leap are price and availability – production capacity just isn’t there yet.

  5. The patent itself lists Apple TV, not a remote for the Apple TV which would really mean an iPhone which it lists. So a remote isn’t on the list Sparky. You can read, right? I agree with the author, it’s strange to list an obvious device that has no display as we know it today. What is the engineer aware of that we’re not?

  6. OLED is not environmentally/battery friendly since is 2.5 time less power efficient comparing to transistor matrices with LED backlight when white colour is displayed.

    If can be more environmentally/battery friendly only when is shows white pixels on no more than 1/3 of the screen or equivalent. That is why Android tend to have black background in its GUI. But during games or video AMOLED screens suck the power too much.

    Apple will go to OLED in *mobile* devices when it has sense — most probably, **never**. That is because organic diodes fundamentally have low energy conversion efficiency (ECE).

    Brighter future is expected with arrival of displays on organic transistors, which have much better ECE — and thus can compete with IPS. But it will take year or more years before this will come to big scale production, and the technology also has to overcome other lacks of display matrices on organic elements — low resolution and low production output.

  7. Did you call Fred? In two years Apple will be #3 and in four years back to the cellar to #5 or lower. How do you like the nfc implementation that Apple lags on. How about wireless charging? How about Real Multitasking and cloud service for photos! Your days are numbered my dear fruity friends.

    As for OLED, alll the power to Apple. They’re good at trying things out for the PC market first. Ha!

  8. I think the main advantage of OLED for Apple is that the screen can be curved (and eventually flexible). I’m sure Apple will find creative ways to use that capability. LCD is always flat.

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