Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,558
19,312



While several rumors point towards Apple releasing its first iPhone models with OLED displays next year, the head of LCD manufacturer Innolux Wang Jyh-chau believes that OLED is unlikely to fully replace LCD technology in terms of performance-cost ratio and reliability long term, according to DigiTimes.

Galaxy-S7-iPhone-6s.jpg

Instead, a new display technology called Micro-LED could eventually replace LCD to become the mainstream display technology, as noted by Innolux vice president and mobile product general manager Yang Hung-wen.
In response to market speculation that Apple will adopt OLED for its new iPhone to be launched in 2017, Innolux vice president and mobile product general manager Yang Hung-wen indicated that in order for product differentiation, Apple is likely to do so but it is uncertain whether it will be on a long-term basis, especially when Apple is developing Micro LED on its own.
Apple reportedly opened a secret laboratory in northern Taiwan last year to develop thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient displays for future iOS devices, recruiting talent from local display maker AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink. The report described the new displays as more advanced versions of LCDs currently used in iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices.

A subsequent report said Apple may be developing Micro-LED technology at the factory following its acquisition of Micro-LED company LuxVue Technology in 2014. In December 2013, LuxVue raised $25.2 million in funding to pursue the display technology, and the company also filed several Micro-LED patents. At the time, one of the company's investors said it had "a technical breakthrough in displays."

Micro-LED displays can be thinner and lighter and allow for improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron.

Apple currently uses TFT-LCD displays for iPhones, while the Apple Watch is the company's only product with an OLED display. Rumors suggest the Apple Watch may gain a Micro-LED display itself as early as the second half of 2017, likely because the device's small size makes it suitable for testing new display technologies ahead of larger devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Today's report ultimately means that Apple's rumored switch to OLED display technology next year may only help keep up with the competition in the short term as it works to develop Micro-LED displays. Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone in 2017 is expected to have glass casing and a 5.8-inch curved OLED display supplied by Samsung. Meanwhile, it has been reported Apple still plans to introduce 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with flat LCD displays like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Article Link: Apple May Use OLED Only Briefly Until Micro-LED Displays Are Ready
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,483
9,996
Detroit
Today's report ultimately means that Apple's rumored switch to OLED display technology next year may only help keep up with the competition in the short term as it works to develop Micro-LED displays.
That sounds like a distinct possibility. Though Apple probably would prefer to move straight to micro-LED and skip OLED if it were ready when they wanted it. But I can see them using OLED as a stop-gap to keep up with competition and offer it as a marketing tool to continue to sell phones.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,872
5,224
The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron.

Translation: "We need to make more money on the iPhone so we're going to tell you these new parts cost more so we can charge more."
 

TurboPGT!

Suspended
Sep 25, 2015
1,595
2,620
Sounds a lot more like Apple to wait and go straight to this Micro-LED thing when it's ready.
Especially if they have doubled-down on the idea by building a dedicated research facility, buying out the company who has done the most with the technology, and rolling it all together.

And they are likely going to want this technology to start bearing fruit and recouping the R&D sooner than later. 2017 would be 3 years in development...a year longer than Touch ID.

It would indeed be odd for Apple to make a shift to OLED for 1 generation, only to shift again a year later.
 

Persicuta

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2015
65
88
Sydney, Australia
iphone 7 news has dried up .. no invite yet by apple ?

Been thinking the same. Hasn't been much iPhone 7 news around.

As for the invites, Its currently Tuesday @ 2am here in Australia, so ill give it till Thursday aussie time for the invites to come out. One week from then till 7th of September.
 

bpeeps

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2011
3,552
4,287
Been thinking the same. Hasn't been much iPhone 7 news around.

As for the invites, Its currently Tuesday @ 2am here in Australia, so ill give it till Thursday aussie time for the invites to come out. One week from then till 7th of September.

Tuesday? Geez. Let the rest of us finish Monday first. :D:p
 
  • Like
Reactions: big-ted

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,951
16,845
The problem is Apple needs to be launching an iPhone with this in now, not in a year or 2. This market moves too quick and you get left behind very quickly.
So you're telling me with the quadrupling down that all the panel manufacturers are doing with OLED, they're going to be moving to Micro-LED (which can't be produced in volume yet) thus making Apple late to the game?

That doesn't make sense from an R&D, supply chain tooling, investment, or logistical sense.
 

UAV

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2015
178
84
The problem is Apple needs to be launching an iPhone with this in now, not in a year or 2. This market moves too quick and you get left behind very quickly.
too late for that, they are already left behind....see how fast technology moves. don't blink or your end up like apple....in the rear view mirror
 
  • Like
Reactions: JackANSI

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,961
17,003
Central U.S.
Sounds like Apple might have been wanting to bypass OLED completely and go straight to MLED but it just wasn't feasible, so they are reluctantly going with OLED next year so they can hit their thinness targets for the big redesign.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SockRolid

Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
Even if Apple used OLED for the iPhone 7, they are still years behind. Why is this supposed to be an exciting new feature? I really hope Apple brings something more than what the rumors are saying because right now, the iPhone 7 blows!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: shimy1984 and g75d3

cardfan

macrumors 68040
Mar 23, 2012
3,545
4,498
We may as well be talking about the iphone 10. Have to actually use OLED first in something besides a watch or kb strip. .
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Sounds a lot more like Apple to wait and go straight to this Micro-LED thing when it's ready.

From what I gather reading tech sites, many display experts think that Micro LED is a costly dead end. It's kind of like the Liquid Metal of displays. Sounds cool, but very difficult to get into mass production at a low enough cost.

Doesn't mean they're right, but it indicates that... barring a breakthrough... it could take some time before it's a feasible alternative to OLEDs in smartphone sized displays.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rGiskard
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.