A report from Korea claims that Apple contracted JOLED to produce 9.7" AMOLEDs for next-gen iPad tablets

JOLED logoJOLED (Japan OLED) was launched in August 2014 by Japan Display, Sony and Panasonic with an aim to become an OLED medium display producer - focusing at first on OLEDs for tables, laptops and signage). A report from Korea's ETNews claims that Apple has contracted JOLED to produce OLED displays for next-gen iPad tablets.

Earlier estimates said that JOLED will begin pilot production in the second half of 2017 and mass production in the second half of 2017, which seems more reasonable then the current ETNews estimates which are quite aggressive - mass production for Apple by the end of 2016.

Nevertheless this is an interesting report. According to ETNews, JOLED will construct a 6-Gen (1500x1800 mm) LTPS AMOLED fab, with a monthly capacity of 60,000 substrates. This translates into 5.5 million 9.7" tablet displays (at 100% yields).

It's highly likely that Apple will switch to OLED displays for next-gen iPhone and iPad devices at some stage. OLED displays are better than the best LCDs in every aspect (except price) - and advances in OLED performance is expected to be faster than the advances we'll see in LCD displays. Apple already adopted a flexible OLED display for the Watch device, and rumors suggest Apple is considering an OLED display for the 2016 iPhone as well.

Apple is actually facing supply issues with the Watch - mostly because of LG's poor flexible OLED yields. This could lead to a decision to revert back to trusted old LCD displays - but it could also lead Apple to be more involved with OLED displays - so it makes sense the company is now aiming to work closely with an OLED producer to make sure it will have a good enough production process within a year or two.

Interestingly, ETNews says that JOLED is also considering moving into large-area OLED TV panel production, but this will begin after mass production of medium sized displays is achieved. It'll be great to see JOLED try to revive Sony and Panasonic's OLED TV program.

Posted: Apr 16,2015 by Ron Mertens