According to recent reports, Apple’s current mini-LED display supplier may be facing decreased demand as Apple is rumoured to be transitioning to OLED displays in the coming years. The reports are still conjecture at this point, but the potential shift could have massive implications for Apple’s product lineup and its manufacturing partners.
This article will explore the rumours and the potential impacts of a transition to OLED displays.
Apple Mini-LED Display Supplier Says Demand Shrinking As Rumors Suggest Transition to OLED in Coming Years
Apple’s current products leverage liquid crystal displays (LCDs) to present their user interface. LCDs use a backlight that shines through a thin layer of liquid crystals, blocking some colours depending on the desired image. In addition, because the light is not particularly bright, it must be magnified through an additional polarising filter and etched into a perfect square. As a result, light will be bent if viewed outside of its natural plane.
The downside of LCD technology is that it is expensive and decreases production quality over a device’s lifespan; this causes colours to fade, icons to flatten, and images to become pixelated. Apple has remained with LCD technology for its products for nearly two decades; however, with the emergence of newer OLED display technology, Apple may look towards transitioning to improve brightness, contrast, colour accuracy and most importantly reduce power consumption.
OLED displays are built from carbon-based organic materials processed between positive and negative electrodes; unlike LCDs which use an external backlight to illuminate their screens, OLEDs apply an electric current directly onto each pixel which lights up when current is applied. This makes OLED screens significantly thinner than LCDs as there is no need for extra layers or backlighting components. Additionally, since pixels don’t need constant power to remain lit (unlike LCDs) they are more efficient at conserving battery life – making them great contenders as mobile displays.
Rumours of Apple Transitioning to OLED
Many rumours have been circulating in the tech industry that Apple may transition to OLED displays in the coming years. This is based on recent news that one of Apple’s micro-LED display suppliers has experienced an unexpected demand shrinkage. It is believed that this could be a sign that Apple is looking to switch to OLED displays shortly.
Let’s explore the sources of the rumours and the potential implications this shift would have on the tech industry:
Mini-LED display supplier says demand shrinking
In recent years, rumours have surfaced that Apple Inc. may be transitioning to OLED displays in their upcoming products. While Apple has not officially commented on these rumours, the company is rumoured to invest in Mini-LED display production technology, another alternative technology to OLED displays. Apple may invest in both technologies to provide a wide range of options for their future products.
One of the leading Mini-LED display suppliers, AU Optronics (AUO), has recently reported a gap between investment scale and production capacity. This has led some analysts to believe that demand for its Mini-LED panels may be shrinking due to the potential transition from LCD product lineups to OLEDs or an increase in sourcing from new supply chains; mainly, OLEDs or Mini LEDs manufactured by Samsung Display and other prominent suppliers like China’s BOE Technology Group Co Ltd and LG Display Co Ltd.
Apple regularly switches up component suppliers before major product releases and it’s very possible that this could be why AUO is reporting a decrease in demand; they aren’t being chosen as a component supplier for Apple products due to the transition away from LCDs. We’ll have to wait until Apple makes an official announcement before we can accurately speculate on their exact plan. Still, they are strongly considering a move towards OLED or Mini LED technology.
Rumours suggest transition to OLED in coming years
For years, rumours have been circulating tech circles that Apple is looking to transition from its current LCD technology to OLED technology for its products. Over the past few months, more and more evidence has been presented to suggest that this transition may soon become a reality.
It is speculated that Apple will introduce their first OLED equipped device either in late 2018 or early 2019. However, this report is based on several factors such as increased research spending on OLED displays, the close partnership between Apple and Samsung associated with purchasing an OLED production line and increasing speculation from inside sources in Apple’s supply chain.
Should this news be true, it would open up new possibilities for their products; such as truer colours with deeper blacks and greater power efficiency due to the lower current draw of an OLED display plus the possibility of introducing curved displays into their product line-up. Additionally, manufacturing costs could be reduced as there would be no need for a backlight like behind traditional LCDs meaning one fewer layer within the display design.
At this point, these rumours are just rumours but are steadily growing stronger every day as fervent discussions continue inside and outside Apple’s walls. Only time will tell how seriously Apple takes them.
Benefits of OLED Displays
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays are becoming increasingly popular among smartphone manufacturers due to their many benefits. OLED displays emit light, making them thinner and lighter than traditional LCD displays. OLED displays also have higher contrast ratios, wider viewing angles, and faster response times for better performance.
Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits that OLED displays offer:
Increased brightness and contrast
OLED displays are based on the principle of organic light-emitting diodes, where electricity passes through organic semiconductors to create light. As a result, OLED technology offers several noteworthy improvements over traditional LCDs, including increased brightness and contrast.
The individual pixels of an OLED display produce their light, resulting in deeper blacks, brighter whites and much more vivid colours than traditional LCDs can reproduce. Moreover, the layer of OLED pixels over the front of the display eliminates the need for a separate lighting layer found in conventional LCDs, allowing devices with OLED displays to be thinner and lighter than those featuring LCDs.
Improved power efficiency
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology has become increasingly popular in electronics due to its improved power efficiency and image quality. OLED displays use light-emitting organic materials that require less energy than traditional liquid crystal display (LCD) displays and other traditional display technologies. This makes them suitable for mobile devices, where energy is more limited than a desktop or laptop computer.
OLED displays have the potential to reduce overall energy consumption when compared to conventional LCDs, allowing for longer battery run times on portable devices. Additionally, OLEDs don’t require a backlight system like LCDs, so they are thinner and lighter than their counterparts. They also provide higher contrast ratios, deeper colours, and better viewing angles, giving better image quality overall.
More vibrant colours
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays offer an impressive range of bright and highly saturated colours. OLED displays are so special because they self-luminate, which allows the colour to be significantly more vibrant compared to standard LCD screens. This is because LEDs do not require a separate backlighting unit like LCD screens must have, making them thinner and brighter.
OLED technology has undergone several upgrades over the past few years. As a result, it can now produce an impressive range of true-to-life colours with deep blacks, wide viewing angles, high peak brightness, and exceptional contrast ratio levels. Furthermore, OLED displays also consume less power than their LCD counterparts.
As rumours suggest that Apple may transition to OLED displays, there is certainly potential for challenging times ahead. Despite the company sourcing Mini-LED displays from its suppliers, the demand for this display has diminished as more and more iPhone owners wait for Apple’s transition to OLED.
The shift from traditional LCD to OLED technology, limited to premium smartphones, will open up a new wave of opportunities for Apple. Still, it could also be a rocky road. So let’s take a closer look.
Cost and supply chain issues
With the possible introduction of OLED displays into Apple’s product line, the company may face complications associated with the cost of OLED displays and their limited supply chain.
OLED displays tend to be significantly more expensive than their traditional LCD counterparts due to differences in power usage, production process, longevity, and display capabilities. This could increase the overall cost of Apple products for consumers. In addition, due to difficult switching suppliers and lack of available supply, Apple may be hard-pressed to find enough manufacturers that meet their standards. This could lead to product production and availability delays while Apple works out logistics with its suppliers.
Therefore, considering these potential cost and supply chain issues, transitioning to OLED displays may cause financial constraints or slow product cycle times. Therefore, it will be important for Apple to assess whether taking such a risk is worth it given that it is a strategic decision bearing long-term implications.
Quality control issues
The move to OLED displays could present some unique challenges for Apple as it attempts to ensure quality control and ensure that the same standards of excellence that have kept it at the top of the tech world are maintained while introducing new components. OLED displays are known for their improved picture quality, but they can also suffer from an effect called ‘burn-in’ which affects how images appear on the screen.
The cause of burn-in is a phenomenon where certain elements of pictures, such as text or background images remain visible even after new content is displayed. This occurs because of how OLEDs store image data and can be exacerbated by high amounts of contrast over a long period. To avoid this issue Apple must ensure that its display components are made from materials resistant to burn-in and implemented in devices with proper power management so they don’t overstep their parameters. Additionally, Apple or its partners must also develop tests and protocols to detect potential problems before they occur in mass-produced consumer goods.
Finally, other technical challenges would need to be addressed to get an OLED display into a device such as the iPhone. For instance:
- Sacrificing some colour fidelity is unavoidable when transitioning from LCDs to the more efficient OLEDs.
- Managing power consumption so that no issues become apparent with prolonged use will ensure customers see no difference between an LCD or OLED device over time.
Potential for burn-in
One of the major drawbacks to OLED displays is that they are susceptible to burn-in. Burn-in occurs when an image stays on the screen long, leaving an indelible imprint in the pixels. While this may not seem like a big deal for casual users, it could cause problems for those who use their devices heavily or those who do professional work.
Manufacturers have taken measures to reduce potential burn-in with new technologies such as “adaptive display refresh”, which reduces intense colours and “pixel shifting”, which shifts the pixels slightly over time so they don’t stay in one place too long. Still, burn-in remains a potential issue with OLED displays, so users must be aware of the potential risks before making any switch.
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