Japan Display to Supply OLED Screens for Apple Watch Series 5

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Japan Display will supply the OLED screens for this year's new Apple Watch model, according to a new Reuters report out today.


Japan Display Inc will begin to supply organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the Apple Watch later this year, two sources said, a breakthrough for the cash-strapped company whose late shift to OLED has cost it orders from Apple.

The supply deal would mark Japan Display's foray into the OLED display market, the two sources familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
The development comes as particularly good news for the liquid crystal display panel supplier, which relied on Apple for more than half of its revenue in the year ended March 2018, and whose mainstay LCD business has been hit heavily by Apple's recent shift away from LCD.

There have been reports of less-than-stellar sales of iPhone XR, which uses LCD. It's also rumored that Apple could drop LCD displays for its 2020 iPhones in favor of an all-OLED line-up. As a result, Japan Display has been seeking investor help that will put it on firmer ground before the switch takes place.

Reuters reported on Monday that Japan Display aims to raise as much as $990 million in new financing as early as this week.

Apple has been working to bolster its OLED display supply chain cut down its reliance on Samsung, which supplies displays for the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. It has reportedly pushed LG Display to build out its OLED display production facilities, and has even purchased equipment to build an OLED panel research and development site in Taiwan.

Today's report offers little clue as to what the switch to Japan Display OLED screens could mean for the next Apple Watch, save for a note that newer OLED technology is generally thinner and allows more flexibility than LCD screens. For the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple upgraded the display panel to a larger LTPO (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) OLED Retina Display, which means it is more efficient and consumes less power for better battery life.

According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple Watch Series 5, coming in September 2019, will feature a new ceramic casing design, suggesting a possible return of the Apple Watch Edition.

Other rumors suggest a future version of the Apple Watch will adopt solid state buttons that don't physically click but instead provide haptic feedback to users when the buttons are touched. Apple introduced haptic feedback for the Digital Crown in the Series 4, and haptic feedback could potentially extend to the side button.

Article Link: Japan Display to Supply OLED Screens for Apple Watch Series 5
 

alpi123

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Jun 18, 2014
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Could an OLED display lead to better battery life? In theory, since 50% of my watch face is black, having an OLED would cut the battery use to only part of the display that actually has color.
In theory yes, but having a black wallpaper on my Xs Max and use dark mode on apps, I didn't see even a slight change in the battery.
 
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Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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Well if its less the half, the move to OED in Apple watch sounds good\

"Other rumors suggest a future version of the Apple Watch will adopt solid state buttons that don't physically click but instead provide haptic feedback to users"

I already worry the move to soft-touch buttons on something on a wrist worn, or portable device you can knock very easily... But that's just me.
 

Basic75

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May 17, 2011
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"There have been reports of less-than-stellar sales of iPhone XR, which uses LCD."

But was the LCD the reason for the low sales?

For me OLED was not part of the decision of getting an XS, it was camera and memory (RAM).

I'd have been happy with LCD for now, in particular with how many Apps and web pages use a white background!
 

MrGunnyPT

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Mar 23, 2017
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This is great news, finally new display suppliers.. Hopefully by Series 6 they could reduce the product base price.

I don’t know thou, hopefully we do see MicroLED eventually on the watch
 
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recoil80

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Jul 16, 2014
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I'm trying to imagine what features it would take for me to upgrade my S4.
Maybe more health related features?
I don't know, I'm really happy with my series 4 too and I can't imagine a compelling reason to upgrade.
The CPU is really fast compared to old models and I don't see them releasing something way more powerful in just an year, besides what do you need to do on the Watch to require more power?
If they managed to release something with a significant better battery life, allowing me to go for 3-4 days without a charge I'd be tempted, now I put my Watch on charge at night with about 50% to spare so I could barely do two days, having an improvement would allow me to go away for a weekend and not worry about battery life, I hate packing the Watch charger just for a quick trip...
 
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iPhysicist

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I'm trying to imagine what features it would take for me to upgrade my S4.
Maybe an uniform display lighting while displaying grayish colors?

his is the one problem I have with my watch whenever the display is not at full brightness. I got used to it but there are lots of things I would like to see improve of the watch.
 
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BladeRunner95

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Oct 4, 2017
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Just imagine for a moment a world where the side button has haptic feedback. It’s hard to imagine just how revolutionary that would be. I’m predicting a huge upgrade cycle.
Yeah how have we managed so long without this?! Sooo excited for the Series 5 now! I'm going to setup camp outside my local Apple store shortly, just to ensure I'm first in the queue when it's released in September..
 

drumcat

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Feb 28, 2008
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It would be appropriate at this point to go to a two-year watch cycle.

Also, why can't we get more than one watch face that has digital seconds? For all the potential this device has, the lack of a "watch face builder" is really sad. Please let me arrange the complications how I want to. I could double the information on my watch face easily, only through using mid-size complications.

And let us have complications on the iPhone lock screen, please.
 

fozz3d

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Feb 18, 2014
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I really wish Apple would do like a Apple Watch Plus/XL/Large like a 55 or 60mm for big guys like me. Currently I still have a Series 0 watch with a Lunatik Case on it, which makes it look bigger, cause without it, it is like wearing a woman's dress watch.
 

UltimaKilo

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Nov 14, 2007
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Guess time to buy stock in this company. Can't wait until we start ti hear news on the AW5, it should be the biggest update since the AW2 with the tech available in 2019.
 

ksec

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Dec 23, 2015
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The only improvement I want is for the Digital Crown to be in the middle and not the top end of the watch.
 

otternonsense

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Jul 25, 2016
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"There have been reports of less-than-stellar sales of iPhone XR, which uses LCD."

But was the LCD the reason for the low sales?

For me OLED was not part of the decision of getting an XS, it was camera and memory (RAM).

I'd have been happy with LCD for now, in particular with how many Apps and web pages use a white background!
No, I'm fairly certain it's because the XR is a massive unwieldy sub par potato phone with a potato LCD display and the same amount of money would be better spent on a refurb X.
 

PickUrPoison

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Sep 12, 2017
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Just imagine for a moment a world where the side button has haptic feedback. It’s hard to imagine just how revolutionary that would be. I’m predicting a huge upgrade cycle.
Two choices: 1) keep the current button which is apparently a weak point (water ingress? reliability?) or 2) improve it with a solid state version, like they did with the Digital Crown. Which option do you prefer?

Obviously that one change isn’t going to drive even one single customer to upgrade. But nobody thought it would... i guess maybe except for you, but certainly not Apple lol.

Upgrade-worthy features will likely be limited to new health related features. Battery life improvements will be small from one generation to the next; it’s already got cellular; it’s not likely to get a camera; maybe shrink the bezels more in another generation or two but that won’t drive upgrades either; more waterproof is always welcome; it’s fast enough; maybe more flash storage for music?

Apple’s at Series 4. It’s a pretty mature product. Maybe I’m just not very imaginative, but I think you’re looking at iterative improvements, marginal tweaks except for more health features.
 
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