Dolby Labs stock surges as its HDR technology spreads through Apple product lines

“The Street today is assessing the lift to component suppliers of Apple’s new iPhones and Apple Watch and Apple TV, unveiled yesterday during Apple’s media event in California,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

“Shares of Dolby Labs (DLB) are up $5.08, or over 9%, at $59.02, after the maker of technology for rendering hi-def digital video got a boost from being included in not just Apple’s revamped Apple TV, but also the new iPhones,” Ray reports. “Dolby’s ‘Dolby Vision’ is among the technologies it licenses to improve picture quality.”

What caught us by surprise was the additional disclosure that Dolby Vision is being incorporated into the iPad Pro, iPhone 8, 8S [sic] [recte 8 Plus] and X. Dolby is adding HDR10 and Dolby Vision to these devices, putting pressure on other handset manufacturers by defining DV support as part of a ‘premium experience.’ Apple now joins LG, whose previously announced L6 handset supports Vision. Not surprisingly, Dolby management has said little about its Apple relationship. We believe the annual payment, which is worth $25M – $30M grows incrementally with the inclusion of these new devices. At this point we are not going to speculate on the incremental value but believe it is material and adds further credence to our belief that CY18 numbers are conservative. — Dougherty & Co. analyst Steven Frankel

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Dolby Vision is an HDR format from Dolby Laboratories that can be optionally supported by Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming video services. Dolby Vision is a proprietary format and Dolby SVP of Business Giles Baker has stated that the royalty cost for Dolby Vision is $2-$3 per TV.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. “Dolby is adding HDR10 and Dolby Vision to these devices, putting pressure on other handset manufacturers by defining DV support as part of a ‘premium experience.’”

    This is a misleading statement – Dolby is not “adding” HDR10. HDR10 is separate open source, non-proprietary HDR format. It is the required base layer for UHD Blu-ray discs. You can’t have Dolby Vision on a disc without also having HDR10, since the majority of current HDR televisions can only support HDR10.
    Samsung has come out with their answer to DV, called HDR10+. It already has the backing of Amazon, Panasonic, and others. It has the advantage of being open source and free, but it’s too early to tell if it compares well with Dolby Vision. But Samsung’s marketing machine is well prepared to make this the alternative to Dolby’s “premium experience”.

    1. Qman- Dolby is part of the HDR10 alliance, and the Dolby Vision package includes a really excellent HDR10 pipeline. Dolby Vision is more of a premium, higher performance package that gives you access to both the Dolby Vision content, but also HDR10.
      Samsung adding dynamic metadata, which allows you to change the HDR signaling scene by scene, is just more evidence that Dolby did it properly from the get-go.

      1. Yes, Dolby did it right from the start, and I’m anxiously waiting for more DV content on disc to enjoy on my OLED.

        Just worried that Samsung with their copycat attitude and free for all format will start another useless format war – but as I said the jury is still out as to whether HDR10+ handling of dynamic metadata will equal that of Dolby. Plus it’s not clear if current TVs will be able to handle HDR10+, so upgrading to get another “premium” format could be an issue.
        Hopefully the UHD Alliance will sort this all out, so we don’t have different manufacturers only supporting certain premium formats. I’m sure with Samsung and others backing HDR10+, they will get it added as part of the UHD specs, so here we go adding another layer.

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