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ETNews: LG Display partnered with Apple, Google and Microsoft to develop foldable displays

Dec 16, 2016

Korean news site ETNews says that LG Display is partnering with Apple, Google and Microsoft to develop a foldable OLED display for smartphones. The plan is for LGD to start producing such displays in 2018. LG Electronics is also part of this project, but apparently the first customers for these displays will be the three US-based companies.

ETNews calls these displays "out-foldable" displays, which probably means that the target devices are a smartphone-sized devices that open-up to have a tablet-like display. According to ETNews LGD recently developed an impressive prototype of those displays. LGD news is carrying out most of the development of this display.

OLED Automotive Market Report

IHS sees 139 million flexible displays shipped in 2017

Dec 12, 2016

IHS says that flexible display shipments (mostly OLEDs) will reach 139 million units in 2017 (or 3.8% of the total display market) - an increase of 135% compared to 2016 (59 million units). In 2023 IHS sees shipments of 560 million flexible displays.

Flexible display shipments (2014-2023, IHS)

In 2017, flexible OLEDs will comprise 20% of the total OLED display market. The growth in flexible OLED adoption will be lead by smartphones - and especially Apple's next-gen iPhone. In 2016 76% of flexible OLEDs ended up in smartphones - and the remainder were used in smartwatches (mostly in Apple's Watch, probably). Next generation flexible OLED applications, including tablets, VR devices, automotive displays and OLED TVs will are is not expected to be significant until 2023.

Is Apple's recent $4 billion component order an OLED purchase?

Nov 10, 2016

In Apple's recent financial filings, the company details a $4 billion purchase order with more than a year duration. This purchase order coincides with an "off-balance sheet obligation" for the same amount from the third quarter.

J.P. Morgan's analyst says that this order is related to Apple's long-term OLED sourcing deal from Samsung Display - probably for the next-gen OLED iPhone. J.P. Morgan further connects this order to a comment by Apple that it may have trouble acquiring troublesome components "on commercially reasonable terms". OLEDs indeed are currently supply-strained and Apple needed to make sure it has enough capacity.

Sharp's new CEO says Apple will switch from LCDs to OLEDs in future iPhones

Oct 30, 2016

Apple's move to adopt OLED displays in future iPhones has been discussed many times in the past, and now it is Sharp's newly appointed CEO Tai Jeng-wu turn to "confirm" these reports. During a talk in Tatung University, Tai said that Apple is indeed switching to an OLED display in future iPhones.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

Tai further commented that OLED represents the best chance for Apple to truly innovate its displays - so this is both a problem and an opportunity for Apple. This cannot be considered to be a real confirmation as many reports suggest, but it is pretty clear that OLED is the way to go for future displays.

Apple officially launches the new MacBook Pro with the OLED Touch Bar

Oct 28, 2016

As was pretty much confirmed by several reports and leaks, Apple introduced its new MacBook Pro 2016 models - which include an OLED Touch Bar instead of the traditional function keys.

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 photo

The OLED strip is supported by most of Apple's applications and can be used to show bookmarks while you browse the internet, emojis in messaging applications, and more. Apple released an API to developers can support the Touch Bar in third-party applications. The OLED strip also includes a Touch ID sensor that is activated for example when you wish to pay online (on supported web stores).

Leaked Apple pay image confirms the Macbook Pro's OLED magic toolbar

Oct 26, 2016

Tomorrow (October 27th) Apple is set to announce its new MacBook Pro lineup, and reports suggested that one of the new features in these new laptops will be an OLED touch bar, a secondary display placed above the keyboard (instead of the function keys).

Apple pay leaked magic toolbar photo

A leaked image (shown above) from Apple's Pay platform was circulated yesterday, showing and supposedly confirming the new touch bar (which many believe Apple will call Magic Toolbar) - which will also apparently support touch ID.

State of the AMOLED industry and future fabs

Oct 11, 2016
This is a premium OLED-Info article

When Samsung started producing AMOLED displays in 2007, AMOLED technology was at a very early stage, immature, and Samsung took a huge risk. A few years later, this risk was rewarded with a successful display business and a boost to the company's smartphone business that was the first to adopt AMOLED displays.

AUO 5.7'' WQHD 513 PPI AMOLED panel prototype

Fast forward to 2016, and today Samsung is still the king of AMOLED displays, with a market share of over 95% in small/medium AMOLED panels. If we look at OLED TV production, then LG Display is the only commercial producer at this stage. But Samsung and LG are not alone - several companies in China and Taiwan already started mass producing AMOLEDs, and others have announced plans for large AMOLED fabs. In this long article we'll list all of these AMOLED producers and developers (over a dozen) - and details their current production capacity and rumored and confirmed production plans.

Will a secondary OLED on Apple's MacBook Pro be a boon to the OLED industry?

Sep 30, 2016
This is a premium OLED-Info story

Apple is set to announce its new MacBook Pro lineup towards the end of October. In June we reported of rumors that one of the new features in these new laptops will be an OLED touch bar, a secondary display placed above the keyboard (instead of the function keys). You can see a proposed render (this is not an official photo of course):

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 secondary OLED renderMacBook Pro render (Source: Martin Hajek)

Since June, more reports surfaced that confirm the secondary-OLED. It seems that most analyst now agree that the MacBook Pro will indeed come with this interesting OLED strip. A leaked Chassis image from June, which you can see above, supports these rumors. I'm sure Apple will find very nice use cases for such a display on a laptop. It is interesting to try and figure out the effect of Apple's secondary MacBook Pro OLED on the OLED market itself.

UBI: Apple will purchase 518 million flexible OLED displays in 2021

Sep 28, 2016

Market Analyst UBI Research estimates the flexible OLED shipments used by Apple iPhone will grow from 34 million panels in 2017 (in which Apple will, according to UBI, launch its first OLED phone) to 518 million panels in 2021 - surpassing Samsung Electronics that will sell 298 million flexible OLED smartphones.

Flexible OLED shipments by customer (UBI, 2015-2021)

This is a bold statement by UBI - especially as flexible OLEDs have been used by Samsung for years now with great success, and the company is actually planning to adopt foldable OLED displays in future devices - which may completely revolutionize the segment if successful.