DisplayMate: the flexible OLED used by Apple's Watch is excellent, OLED is the only way to go for smart watch displays

My friend Raymond from DisplayMate posted the first review of Apple's Watch display. It's a great article and well worth a read. His main conclusion is that the Flexible OLED display is excellent, and Apple did a very good job in its implementation. In fact Raymond says that "there is absolutely no question that for smart watches, OLED is the only way to go for a great display".

Apple Watch photo

The OLED provides very nice and accurate colors and a pleasing picture quality. It compares very good to the iPhone 6's LCD display. DisplayMate tested a single edition, one with a Sapphire display (more about this below). This is a 42 mm panel (312x390, 302 PPI) - most likely made by LG Display.

OLED Encapsulation - a major challenge towards flexible OLED adoption

One of the major problems with OLED materials is that they are very sensitive to oxygen and moisture. This means that OLEDs need to be protected, and the encapsulation of OLED panels is one of the major obstacles towards efficient mass production of flexible OLED panels.

Interested in OLED encapsulation and want to learn more about the different technologies that aim to enable the next-generation flexible display? Read our new article here.

EDO updates its AMOLED roadmap, is developing an 8" AMOLED display

Towards the end of 2014 we reported that China's Everdisplay (EDO) started mass producing 5" 720p AMOLED displays with a capacity of 600,000 panels per month. EDO has since discussed its roadmap several times, and today they updated it again with some new information.

EverDisplay AMOLED roadmap (April 2015)

We already know that EDO is developing new 5.5" and 6" AMOLEDs. While we knew the company is developing a circular display, EDO now reveals they plan to release a 1.4" panel - and not a 1.35" as previously reported - which probably means that EDO is the producer of the 1.4" 400x400 panel used in Huawei's upcoming Watch.

Bloomberg: SDC started to produce flexible OLEDs at its new Gen-6.5 A3 fab

According to reports, Samsung is seeing better-then-expected demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge - and SDC will not be able to produce enough flexible OLEDs. Earlier this month I speculated that SDC may try to start producing at its new 6.5-Gen A3 flexible OLED fab sooner then planned - and today Bloomberg reports that this is indeed the case.

Samsung GS6 and GS6 Edge photo

According to Bloomberg, Samsung already started to produce flexible OLEDs at the A3 fab - which was expected to enter production in June.

iFixit tears down Apple's Watch, confirms it uses a flexible AMOLED display

While we confirmed Apple's Watch uses a flexible AMOLED display back in September 2014, now we are set to get some more confirmations as Apple starts shipping their first wearable device. iFixit posted a tear-down of the Watch, in which they confirm it is an AMOLED panel.

Apple Watch photo

iFixit also finally details the Watch display resolution: the small editions use a 38mm display (272x340, 290 PPI) while the larger Watches use a 42 mm panel (312x390, 302 PPI). Those are flexible OLED panels produced by LG Display.

Apple Watch

Apple's first wearable device, the Watch, is also the company's first product with an OLED display. It uses a flexible OLED panel produced by LG Display. There are several Watch models, some use a 38mm display (272x340, 290 PPI) and some a slightly larger 42 mm panel (312x390, 302 PPI). Apple refers to the display as a flexible Retina display.

Apple Watch photo

Besides the square flexible OLED, the Watch has a new custom-designed Apple S1 processor, 8GB of storage, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three sensors (Accelerometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor) and the new Watch OS. There are several Watch editions, ranging from $349 to $17,000. Apple started shipping the Watch on April 24th 2015.

Kaneka demonstrate their new 50,000 hours OLED lighting panels

Towards the end of 2014 it was reported that Kaneka developed a new OLED panel that achieves a lifetime of 50,000 hours, and the company started producing such panels shortly after. It turns out that Kaneka demonstrated the new panels at the Euroluce 2015 tradeshow in Europe.

Kaneka OLEDs at EuroLuce 2015 photo

Kaneka had several panels on display - in three different sizes (80x80 mm, 100x100 mm and 143x23 mm) and five different colors (white, amber, blue and green). All panels are 1.05 mm thick and feature 50,000 hours of lifetime.

Samsung to release a new round Gear smartwatch

Samsung just posted a new flyer calling the global developer community to get an early access to the software development kit of the company's next-gen Gear device. From the invitation, it's pretty clear the new device will be round:

Samsung next-gear early access flyer (Apr 2015)

Samsung's upcoming Gear device will be a smart watch - and will be Samsung's 6th generation Gear (which is pretty amazing considering that the company's first-gen Gear was released less than two years ago).

LG's shaves off a further $1,000 from its 2014 65" 4K OLED TV

Yesterday we reported that Amazon.com lowered the price of LG's 2014 65" 4K OLED TVs to $8,999 (down from $9,999) - and today the online retailer reduced the price by another $1,000 - so the 65EC9700 is now offered for $7,999.

The price of LG's 2015 65" 4K model (the 65EG9600) is still $8,999 - which at least makes sense because previously the 2014 and the 2015 models were offered at the same price. The 2015 model is still not shipping - Amazon says it will ship within 4-6 weeks.

LGD - we're still on track to produce 600,000 OLED TVs in 2015, flexible OLED expansion plans under review

Yesterday we posted news from Korea claiming that there is lower-then expected demand for OLED TVs, and that LGD is suffering from low UHD OLED TV yields and had to lower their production target for 2015 to 500,000 TVs (down from 600,000).

LG OLED TVs at CES 2015

LGD reported their financial results, and during the conference call the company's Investor Relations chief clearly said that the company still aims to produce 600,000 OLED TVs in 2015. They may lower the number if they see greater demand for 65" and 77" TVs and decide to change their size mix towards more large panels. Regarding the UHD OLED yields, he says that "it is in line with our basic assumption and our track record".

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs