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Apple has asked Samsung Display to develop micro OLED panels in an effort to diversify its supply ahead of next year's launch of its widely rumored AR/VR glasses, claims a new report.

apple-ar-headset-concept-1.jpeg

According to The Elec, Samsung Display has received requests from several of its customers to start developing the microdisplays, including Apple, Meta, and its parent company, Samsung.

Samsung Display is said to have avoided developing the panels so far because of their expected low profitability, but micro LED appears set to become a key technology in the nascent AR/VR headset market as multiple companies gear up to launch rival products.

Micro OLED displays are built directly onto chip wafers rather than a glass substrate, which results in displays that are thinner, smaller, and more power efficient. They allow for pixel sizes in the range of four to 20 micrometers, compared to 40 to 300 micrometers with standard OLED panels, plus they have a faster microseconds response time, making them ideal for AR/VR applications.

Rumors suggest Apple's AR/VR headset will have two to three displays, with at least two being high-resolution 4K micro OLED displays with up to 3,000 pixels per inch. Sony is expected to supply the display modules that Apple will use, although today's report claims LG Display is also in the running to supply Apple with micro LED panels next year.

Samsung Display will reportedly supply a conventional OLED panel for the device, perhaps for peripheral vision where a lower resolution would be acceptable. Samsung Display will then attempt to supply micro LED panels for the second-generation device.

Apple's first headset is expected to be unveiled at a special event in January 2023, while the follow-up device, likely featuring a more high-end configuration and a new affordable option, is expected to launch in 2025, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Article Link: Apple Taps Samsung Display to Supply Micro OLED Panels for Future AR/VR Headsets
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
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The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I have no idea what you’re going on about.

Apple has relied on Samsung in the past to produce displays/panels for other Apple products. They can still be competitive with each other in terms of marketing/selling their products, but in terms of manufacturing, it doesn’t mean Apple can’t rely on Samsung either when it comes to reliance on production yields.
 
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Take Flight

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May 18, 2011
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Last few paragraphs of this post are all over the place and make no sense.

Also not micro oled, just micro led.
 
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SoldOnApple

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Jul 20, 2011
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I have no idea what you’re going on about.

Apple has relied on Samsung in the past to produce displays/panels for other Apple products. They can still be competitive with each other in terms of marketing/selling their products, but in terms of manufacturing, it doesn’t mean Apple can’t rely on Samsung either when it comes to reliance on production yields.
I'm sure that, all other things being equal, Apple would choose another supplier. It just turns out that Samsung is the best or maybe only supplier that can do it at the price they need it. But if a supplier that doesn't directly compete with Apple could produce the exact same panels for the exact same price, then Apple would be motivated to choose that supplier instead of supporting their main rival. And if Samsung had limited capacity to produce these panels and had to choose between making them for Apple or making them for Boeing for the exact same price, then Samsung would choose Boeing.
 

reyesmac

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Jul 17, 2002
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Samsung is probably doing this for less profits than it normally gets, just to have inside knowledge of the system so they can eventually create a copy cat one. Apple thought it had patented the iPhone and that simply was not enough for others to create entire industries from their ideas.
 

SoldOnApple

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Jul 20, 2011
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I own an iPad Pro, but I also own three Samsung S7 LE's because I had a very specific business use that requires scanning documents to PDF directly into the Google Drive app, which for some reason isn't supported on the iOS version of Google Drive. I wish it was supported though because the S7 LE cost more than the iPad and it feels like it runs twice as slow and the Google apps crash much more often.
 
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Reason077

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This thing better have USB-C charging, or I'm going to lose my mind. My deep hatred of the lightning port grows stronger every day.
 
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alpi123

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I'm sure that, all other things being equal, Apple would choose another supplier. It just turns out that Samsung is the best or maybe only supplier that can do it at the price they need it. But if a supplier that doesn't directly compete with Apple could produce the exact same panels for the exact same price, then Apple would be motivated to choose that supplier instead of supporting their main rival. And if Samsung had limited capacity to produce these panels and had to choose between making them for Apple or making them for Boeing for the exact same price, then Samsung would choose Boeing.
There's a clear distinction between Samsung as a phone manufacturer, and Samsung Electronics - the ones manufacturing parts for others.

Apple chooses the suppliers that can offer them the best quality to-price ratio, they don't care who it is. Apple is already trying to transition to other suppliers, but some (like BOE) have been caught in lowering quality in order to meet deadlines, so you see how it's not easy for Apple to just choose someone else.
 
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bradman83

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Samsung is probably doing this for less profits than it normally gets, just to have inside knowledge of the system so they can eventually create a copy cat one. Apple thought it had patented the iPhone and that simply was not enough for others to create entire industries from their ideas.
Samsung is a sprawling business and their consumer electronics divisions are separate business units from their electronic components. Apple has been a customer of Samsung for display panels on iPhones and iPads for years. These types of deals are protected by strict non-disclosure agreements. If it were Huawei or Xiaomi the concerns would be more warranted.
 

ackmondual

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Dec 23, 2014
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Are there a lot of "Samsung haters" on these MR forums? I know elsewhere online, Samsung gets heaping helpings of it, but when told that Apple uses Samsung's displays, they go quiet

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And Apple and Samsung's mutual enemy is missing a money making opportunity.
Oh, and Google is still paying Apple to be their default search engine IIRC.
 

currentinterest

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Aug 22, 2007
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Samsung Display building displays for Apple is not unlike TSMC building the A and M series chips. Both are manufacturers building a product based on Apple designs and specifications. Of course, the manufacturing possibilities influence the design as well in both cases.
 

Piplodocus

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Apr 2, 2008
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I'm happy to be wrong, but... I don't see this as being a big hit.

Why?

Everyone needs a laptop/computer. If you're gonna get one anyway and want an expensive quality laptop then Apple is a good option. I'll buy an expensive one and make it last. Equally I'm the only person I know with a £4k laptop for home use, but I can justify that based on loads of daily use and storage requirements for music production. So yeah, I'll buy one.

The iPhone was revolutionising the phone and everyone has a smartphone. It's the internet + all social media in your pocket when you'd have had a basic mobile phone on you anyway. These days no-one leaves home without it and the world is full of people mindlessly staring at them constantly. It would be very hard to go back to a "standard" mobile phone. Apple makes good phones. I'd buy one.

The iPad: a "casual computer" media consumption device. It's nice and kinda useful for casual computing. It's also got a starting price of <£400 and one with 2TB of storage and the highest quality pro-motion display is still about £2k. Most average people won't and don't need to spend that unless they're using it as a laptop replacement or are using it with an Apple pencil as an art tool for their job (or are really keen on art as a hobby). But with that price range there's still kinda one for everyone. I've got one but I could happily live without my iPad (and should have definitely bought a cheaper one with hindsight).

The watch? Well it's a companion for your phone that saves you a load of hassle constantly getting your phone out your pocket to check the next appointment or what an incoming message was. It also adds fitness capabilities that the phone doesn't. Most people I know do some form of exercise and so although lots of people I know would rather a far cheaper fitbit like thing, or if they're really into sports, then a garmin watch because it'll last a lot longer and not run out after a few hours mountain biking, I still see the point and have one myself. It's £450 (although you can spend more if you like). But skip an extra year or 2 of iPhone uprade and you've kinda got one and it's handy throughout the day and for fitness tracking.

Now then, a VR mask?

I presume you're only gonna use this at home? I'm certainly not gonna be wandering around the streets in one. To play games? I don't see anyone I know wanting to spend £3k on that. The only people I know who have VR headsets are big keen gamers already, didn't spend that much on one, and want to play all the other games they have, which I presume will have no compatibility out the box and Apple aren't exactly renowned for courting game companies or encouraging a lot of Mac games. So I'm not sure I see big spenders there. Will it revolutionise the office space? I doubt it. My work laptop is as cheap as they can get to give me reasonable performance and I presume it'll be very limited SW when it comes out.

So I'm trying to work out what its USP is. What will this do to suddenly make everyone have to get a VR/AR headset? It doesn't really fit into any general use-case of mine. If my girlfriend is about I'm not convinced we'd both have one, so not like we can game together on it since we have 2 heads. I presume it'll be doing something better, or easier to justify its existence. But personally I see it'd be only of limited light use and at £3k that's money I just don't see people spending.

Maybe there's a lot more rich people in the world than I think there is? Maybe Apple are happy for it to only be a low-volume product? But if it's low volume, surely it'll require a lot more hardware and software engineering and development than something like an Apple TV, which previously described by Jobs as their "hobby" is just a simple TV streaming box. Maybe it's more gonna be kept rolling as a novelty for the rich until the prices drop and more SW is about and then hopefully can be got into peoples hands for £1k? I guess they have to start somewhere if they do want to bring it to the masses.

So I'm awaiting some unbelieveable "wow"-factor that I can't think of yet to make it be someone's go-to device that get's used hours a day, else it's somewhat going to be just a *very* expensive novelty item. I don't think I need constant AR labels on everything in my house and £3k for some limited VR gaming isn't happening. But am I going to be welcomed into a life-changing virtual reality computing experience where I can touch and move virtual objects around me to navigate my workspace and desktop? Well considering there's not even a touchscreen Mac yet, that does seem like a massive tech jump to something that'd supposedly make my arms ache after a short period for very limited useability gain over a standard computer.

I dunno. There were smart phones, until Apple reinvented it with the iPhone. Maybe this will be similar. But I'd conceived of the idea of a smartphone similar to an iPhone before and just thought the tech wasn't there. I figured 3G needed someone to invent an iPhone before it came out, and was somewhat amused it was finally a phone worthy of 3G being invesnted, but was only EDGE for the first iteration. I dont see that with VR though. I see it could be super-cool if it works excellently at things I can imagine, but don't see any mass adoption without the price coming down a lot or being more useful than I can imagine.

Maybe I'm just not dreaming big enough about the possibilities. What am I missing that currently makes VR very niche and would suddenly make it become commonplace at these kinda prices? I guess an Nvidia 3090 TI graphics card is the best part of £2k and people buy those just for gaming, but equally that runs all current and past PC games as good as it gets so I don't particularly see buying a £3k headset with very little software as a better buy.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G4
Mar 10, 2009
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Last few paragraphs of this post are all over the place and make no sense.

The last couple of paragraphs likely means Apple is not doing a "monkey see , monkey do" copy of legacy, lower end VR headset tech. First, they are likely going to use foveated renderings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foveated_rendering

So what the eyes are looking at directly is rendered at higher resolution than what not looking at. If have separated out a "lower resolution" zone for display, then it is probably only a tad bit more work to push those pixels out to a lower resolution display ( which probably consumes less power per pixel/inch also in addtional to lowering computing requirements (and compute power consumed ). That's where more than two screens comes from.

If Apple isn't splitting out the outer peripheral vision display then the there is also likely some display on the onside front for feedback for people looking at the person wearing the display. If that display is mostly black (dark) the majority of the time then the power consumed wouldn't be that high either.




What they won't get you is a "cheaper" headset. Eye tracking cameras, custom display, custom render path. etc. etc. However, there is a decent chance could set new bar for lightweight , high fidelity experience. Just not for "common folks".


The last paragraph shouldn't be confusing at all. The first step on Apple's path is a mixed reality AR/VR combo headset. Then a couple of years later they'll do two product. One would be an updated on the AR/VR combo. ( and open a window for this late arrival Samsung displays for the foveal primaries ). The main "high volume" product would be the AR only "glasses".

There haven't been any solid rumors at all about Apple doing a VR only , highly affordable headset. If trying to read this rumor as how does Apple copy the Meta Quest product. They don't try to.


Also not micro oled, just micro led.

Sony has demonstrated a 4K OLED screens at the end of 2021.


https://www.oled-info.com/sony-demonstrates-4k-oled-microdisplay-display


The presumption is that Apple will use at least two of these.

It is likely Apple has also has been perusing a micro LED path, but it is starting to look like Sony has something closer to release for manufacturing. It is a pretty big resolution leap for Sony

https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/e/products/microdisplay/oled/

since they have working on Electronic View Finders for a while along the path to better mirrorless cameras. These don't have to only end up in AR/VR products over the long term. Only need one for a camera when the costs get better.

LG has microLED for TVs and large screens but this is in the "more micro" range of a much smaller screen size. Hence they are looking at the next gen product.

https://www.imore.com/apples-arvr-headset-could-use-microled-displays-sony-and-lg-involved
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G4
Mar 10, 2009
10,889
2,744
I'm happy to be wrong, but... I don't see this as being a big hit.

Why?

....

Now then, a VR mask?

I presume you're only gonna use this at home? I'm certainly not gonna be wandering around the streets in one. To play games? I don't see anyone I know wanting to spend £3k on that. The only people I know who have VR headsets are big keen gamers already, didn't spend that much on one, and want to play all the other games they have, which I presume will have no compatibility out the box

It is likely not for "gaming". The Microsoft Hololens is up in the $2+K zone and there not a huge gaming focus there. It is likely for work and not games.


So I'm trying to work out what its USP is. What will this do to suddenly make everyone have to get a VR/AR headset? It doesn't really fit into any general use-case of mine. If my girlfriend is about I'm not convinced we'd both have one, so not like we can game together on it since we have 2 heads. I presume it'll be doing something better, or easier to justify its existence. But personally I see it'd be only of limited light use and at £3k that's money I just don't see people spending.

at $2-3K per device they aren't trying to sell it to "everyone". So if myopically looking for a "everyone" use case then probably won't find one.

Remote surgery . Transcendental collaborative product development ( user gather around a real product prototype). Augmented equipment inspection , training.

There are lots of business cases that don't have anything to do with bang, bang , and blowing things up in a game.

Will they sell tens of millions of headsets? Nope. Do they have to sell tens of millions of this particular product to hit breakeven? Nope.

There are lots of $500/hr lawyers out there that bill work every day. Most "everyone" doesn't hire them. It isn't about "what do my friends and acquaintances" buy it is more so thinking about what is sold in the overall market.


Maybe there's a lot more rich people in the world than I think there is? Maybe Apple are happy for it to only be a low-volume product? But if it's low volume, surely it'll require a lot more hardware and software engineering and development

I suspect you are too caught up in the short term. The other major use case is a development tool for AR glasses. Trying out new software categories on this device and then those later apps get that isn't as expensive or broadly targeted. So VR glasses . That also would piggyback off the AR software infrastructure on the Phones/iPads. ( in part apple needs a more hand's free variant to broaden the scope of possible apps. )

Just not coming with high volume product first. ( already have AR volume with the iPhone/iPad). To go glasses likely need substantively better tech that won't arrive for a couple of years.


So I'm awaiting some unbelieveable "wow"-factor that I can't think of yet to make it be someone's go-to device that get's used hours a day, else it's somewhat going to be just a *very* expensive novelty item. I don't think I need constant AR labels on everything in my house and £3k for some limited VR gaming isn't happening.

Again. This likley won't be aimed at the "Apple please take my money" crowd that gets everything with an Apple label. Do a deep dive in the use cases that Hololens is being applied to. This first product isn't for "giggles at home".
 
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