Reports from Korea claim LG Display is on the verge of a flexible OLED supply deal to Apple

Back in December 2012, rumors started to circulate about an upcoming Apple smartwatch called the iWatch. First we heard reports that it will use a small PMOLED, and later rumors suggseted Apple decided to use a plastic flexible OLED. Today the Korea Herald claims that LG Display is very close to striking a deal with Apple to supply flexible OLEDs for the iWatch.

Apple 2011 flexible OLED watch patentApple 2011 flexible OLED watch patent

Korea Herald says that it isn't likely for Apple to rely on a single vendor and they suggest that RiTDisplay is a strong candidate as well. But this does not seem likely as the Taiwanese company does not have the technology or capacity to produce flexible AMOLEDs similar to LGD ones. Perhaps if Apple opts for a simpler PMOLED device than RiTDisplay is a possible supplier. They also list Japan Display as a candidate, but this is even less likely.

LG Display flexible AMOLED prototype

Samsung isn't likely to supply Apple with flexible OLEDs as the company wants to use these displays for their own products to differentiate them. In addition Apple does not want to disclose its iWatch design to their Korean rival.

Samsung Galaxy GearSamsung Galaxy Gear

Korea Herald says many people believe that the iWatch will be introduced by the end of this year. I think it's highly unlikely that Apple, LGD and others will be able to do this so soon. I think DisplaySearch's estimate that a flexible OLED iWatch is only likely towards the end of 2014 is much more likely.

Apple OLED rumors never die, and this is just another one in a long series. I think we shouldn't anticipate any OLED product from Apple till we have at least two major OLED suppliers, and this isn't likely to happen any time soon. While both LGD and Samsung are already producing flexible OLEDs, their joint capacity isn't even close to be enough for Apple.

Posted: Oct 29,2013 by Ron Mertens