Next-gen iPhone’s OLED display puts blue spotlight on Japanese supplier

“The iPhone’s success has transformed the fortunes of dozens of suppliers, from glass manufacturers to the maker of robots that cut metal cases,” Pavel Alpeyev and Takako Taniguchi report for Bloomberg.Now, as Apple Inc. prepares to introduce a new smartphone with an OLED screen, a Japanese refiner better known for its chain of gas stations is about to join the list.”

“Idemitsu Kosan Co. began experimenting with organic light-emitting diodes in the mid-1980s, seeking to reduce its reliance on petroleum after the global oil shock,” Alpeyev and Taniguchi report. “Chances are the blue pixels on the OLED screens are built with Idemitsu’s materials or patents.”

“When Idemitsu began development in 1985, OLED was little more than a promising science. For a decade, Japan’s second-largest refiner struggled to make materials that lasted more than a few seconds, until a breakthrough that extended longevity,” Alpeyev and Taniguchi report. “That allowed Pioneer Corp. to include the world’s first commercial OLED display for a car stereo in 1999. ‘We were there from the beginning,’ said Yuichiro Kawamura, chief researcher at Idemitsu’s electronic materials development center.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: After early technology that produced less that stellar qualities, OLED is finally ready for prime time in Apple’s next-gen flagship iPhone!

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    1. That’s what the article is all about. Creating a long-lasting blue LED was proving to be very elusive until Idemitsu Kosan developed a way to do it and their patents are behind most blue LEDs currently in use. I well remember when blue LEDs first appeared in products and people were very excited by them. Obviously blue LEDs are an important element of colour LED displays too.

      It’s worth clicking on the linked article because it goes on to explain how Idemitsu Kosan, the Swiss giant BASF, UDC and Kyulux are all trying to perfect a new technology called thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF), which promises lower costs, lower power consumption and more accurate colours. Obviously such a combination of features would be of immense interest to Apple.

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