Apple May Invest in AMOLED Supplier AU Optronics for Future iPhones

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following rumors claiming that iPhones will adopt OLED displays in less than three years, Taiwanese website Focus Taiwan cites local media reports stating that Apple is planning to invest in AMOLED display supplier AU Optronics.
    AU Optronics declined to comment on its potential investment deal with Apple, but the supplier's shares of the company gained 5.15% on Tuesday to close at NT$9.53 on the Taiwanese stock market amid the rumors.

    AU Optronics, which has supplied LCD panels to Apple in the past, has reportedly been developing AMOLED displays for more than a decade, and last year it began shipping AMOLED panels to Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers. Apple currently uses LCD panels for iPhones, sourced primarily from Sharp and Japan Display.

    Last month, it was reported that Apple has been recruiting talent from AU Optronics and Qualcomm to work at a Taiwanese factory, where the company is purportedly developing thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices. The secretive lab may be specifically focused on OLED and Micro-LED technologies.

    Samsung, LG and Japan Display have also been rumored to provide Apple with OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018.

    OLED displays typically have brighter colors and deeper blacks, and the lack of a backlight increases power efficiency, but the panels can also have shorter lifespans and higher manufacturing costs compared to LCD technology. Apple has reportedly been consulting with OLED panel makers to eliminate potential drawbacks.

    Samsung is the most popular smartphone maker that uses AMOLED displays, while the Apple Watch became Apple's first AMOLED device last April.

    Article Link: Apple May Invest in AMOLED Supplier AU Optronics for Future iPhones
  2. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    Makes sense to diversify with your suppliers. I'd be wary though if I were AU after the whole GT Advanced debacle.
  3. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2010
  4. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Definitely some downsides to OLED. They get burn-in and die over time so your screen eventually loses brightness and dies.
  5. lrmd98 macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2016
  6. noobinator macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
  7. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    I am not a display engineer. Can someone who knows these things explain the difference between AMOLED, OLED and Micro LCD? What would drive Apple to choose each of these technologies referenced in the article?

  8. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
  9. macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Arizona, USA
    Escape the burn in issues and this would be fantastic tech to see. I have a feeling that if Apple manages to make the display more efficient we will see even smaller batteries/thinner devices instead of just maintaining the current size and letting us get massive gains in battery life.
  10. Oblivious.Robot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
  11. vmachiel macrumors 68000

    Feb 15, 2011
    Let's hope not. But didn't that go wrong because of mismanagement on their end?
  12. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    A perfect technology for Apple then. :)
  13. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Even if this is case, will we see the OMOLED screens on the iPhone7 or will we have to wait for the iPhone 8?
  14. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Maybe they can give them the furnaces. Something has to get melted.
  15. YegorH macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    The best next mobile display technology would be E-ink or something similar, IF it ever catches up in terms of refresh rate, color space, etc.
  16. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Can someone at MR quantify this statement? To simply say "shorter lifespan" means what exactly? That whole shorter lifespan/higher cost blurb has been cut and pasted into posts several times without any real follow up. A tiny bit of research would make these posts that much more informative. Imo, of course.
  17. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I can just imagine apple saying something like "Apple scientists have created a display with true blacks and vibrant colors, the display also saves battery life thanks to this apple creation"
  18. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    It's actually not more resolution that you want, particularly on such small screen sizes. The better black levels are the most important for media. There's nothing worse than cheap panels where all shadows/grays/blacks blend together and you can't see anything in a screen
  19. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    First saw OLEDs on a private tour at a Sony facility over 10 years ago. It blew my mind. I've been wondering why the adoption rate has been so slow. Longevity would still be 75% brightness after 5 years of typical use. That does not seem so bad for a display that naturally seems so much brighter to begin with on a device most people don't use after 3-4 years anyway.
    As for cost, it's worth it.
  20. citysnaps macrumors 68030

    Oct 10, 2011
    San Francisco
    Why? Do you have inside information to share?
  21. doelcm82 macrumors 68040


    Feb 11, 2012
    Florida, USA
    Don't forget lighter. Smaller batteries equals less weight, which has several benefits.
  22. navaira macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2015
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    1. Plant a rumour about "potential investment deal with Apple"
    2. Decline comment
    3. Surprisingly, stock price goes up!

    (Obviously I have no proof whatsoever, the above represents a completely fictional case unrelated to the topic, I do not own any AAPL stock and I'm actually a hamster.)
  23. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    That doesn't make any sense. People are still using iPhone 3GS and first generation iPad, remember....
  24. vault, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

    vault macrumors regular

    May 3, 2009
    It means that it loses brightness relatively fast. It is especially problematic in display types where the light output is produced by pixels themselves (i.e. PDP and OLED), as it may lead to uniformity issues (some pixels age faster than others) or colour shift. In contrast - modern LCDs with LED backlight have very long lifespans and uniformity issues are not related to ageing, but are a QC issue.
  25. melgross macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    New York City
    They are not sharper! Where does this kind of thing come from? And they don't have "brighter" colors. They have had more saturated colors, which isn't really a good thing. When Samsung finally decided to calibrate its displays, as Apple had been doing for years, the displays no longer had those unnatural "brighter" colors. You know, when flesh tones look orange?

    And they aren't more efficient either. On average, an AMOLED screen is about as efficient as an LCD screen.

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