Why Apple wants an OLED iPhone by 2018

“If the world’s leading display suppliers have their way, three years from now Apple will be using a drastically different display technology than the LCDs you see today in its most popular product,” Steve Symington writes for The Motley Fool.

BusinessKorea reported that top Apple display supplier LG Display intends to shift one of its LCD lines in Gumi, South Korea, to become an OLED line, aiming for mass production in 2017,” Symington writes. “You might also recall that in January, Apple was rumored to have contracted both Foxconn and Innolux to build a $2.6 billion plant to manufacture OLED displays for both wearables and smartphones.”

Why specifically would Apple want to switch from LCD to OLED? Here are three of the biggest reasons:
1. iDevice consistency
2. Better color saturation, accuracy, and brightness
3. Design possibilities: Plastic-based OLEDs can be made flexible, semitransparent, and virtually indestructible.

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. At this point it doesn’t much matter. The LCDs Apple uses are really good. In a few years OLEDs will be very good. I’m satisfied Apple will make an iPhone with a really rood display.

    (I’m familiar with the arguments for OLED. I think the one question about the technology is longevity. There has been a tendency for the different colors to age differently. It seems that is being solved. )

  2. I disagree with part of #2 – OLED displays do not necessarily provide better color accuracy.

    Some of the major benefits, IMO:
    1) Thinner display (no backlight)
    2) Potential for reduced power consumption, if the UI and apps are optimized for OLED (e.g., use black backgrounds, etc.)
    3) Related to #2 above, the emissive OLED technology combined with increased brightness improves readability in daylight/outdoors.
    4) New printing technologies will eventually provide OLEDs with a cost advantage.
    5) Related to #3 above, OLEDs may lead to more robust devices with greater impact resistance than LCDs.
    6) LCDs tend to work poorly (or not at all) when it gets cold. OLEDs would eliminate that problem.

    1. “Potential for reduced power consumption, if the UI and apps are optimized for OLED (e.g., use black backgrounds, etc.)”

      This is exactly why they should NOT use OLED. The Watch has a mostly black background to save energy. So does Android’s OS. Black backgrounds, IMHO, look TERRIBLE on a phone. I hate the white text on black backgrounds seen on Android phones. If they can engineer it to use less energy with a white background, fine. If not, stick with LEDs…

    1. Apple designs their own OLED (currently, only for Apple Watch as it is the only device where they could enforce white on black UI that saves energy — versus usual black on white, where OLEDs consume 1.5 times more than IPS LCD).

      Who is contractor manufacturer is not important (same as with SoC: TSMC/Samsung or iPhone itself: Foxconn/Pegatron, et cetera).

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