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

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.

Google to help LG promote OLED TVs to high-end consumers

LG Electronics announced that it is going to cooperate with Google in promoting its OLED TVs. LG will use YouTube and other Google tools to help increase OLED TV awareness, targeting the global high-end consumer market (estimated at around 100 million).

LG EG9600 photo

LGD aims to produce 600,000 OLED TVs in 2015 and 1.5 million in 2016. Some reports say that LG's OLED sales are lower than expected - which may explain why LG is attempting a global marketing push. LGE recently reduced $1,000 from its 2015-model UHD 55" curved OLED TV, but OLED prices are still considerably higher than competing LCD models.

Motorola's Moto 360 watch uses an LCD, not an OLED

On March 2014 Motorola showed their first smartwatch, the beautiful Moto 360, and it will launch it on September 4th. It was widely speculated that it adopts an OLED panel - especially as it is always on and the battery drain on an LCD will be quite large.

But today Best Buy posted a product listing by mistake (they took it off-line a short while later) which revealed the Moto 360 specifications: and it uses a 1.5" 320x290 round LCD panel. This is quite a disappointment, I really hoped this beautiful time piece has an OLED display.

Motorola to reveal the Moto 360 and new smartphones on September 4th

Update: it turns out the Moto 360 uses an LCD, and not an OLED...

On March 2014 Motorola showed their first smartwatch, the beautiful Moto 360. This Google Android Wear OS device uses a round display, which is probably an OLED but we're not sure. Motorola sent out invitations today to a launch event on September 4th, and they will probably finally unveil this interesting device.

From the invitation, it seems that Motorola will also show new smartphones, including the follow-up to their flagship Moto X with it's 4.7" 720p AMOLED display. Motorola has been using AMOLEDs for several of its phones in past years, so it's likely their new devices will also use OLED displays.

Asus is also developing an Android Wear device with an AMOLED display

Yesterday Google officially launched the Android Wear OS for smart watches. The first devices will come from LG, Samsung and Motorola. We now hear that Asus is also developing a smartwatch based on Google's new OS version, and it will, like Samsung's Gear Live, sport an AMOLED display.

Samsung Gear LiveSamsung Gear Live

Asus intends to offer a cheaper watch compared to LG and Samsung, and they want it to cost between $99 and $149 when it launches in September.

Google to use MicroOLED's OLED microdisplays in next-gen Google Glass?

According to an industry insider I just talked to, Google is in talks with MicroOLED to supply OLED microdisplays for the next generation Google Glass. Google currently use LCoS microdisplays by Himax (they even bought a stake in the Himax Display in July 2013). Our source says that Google isn't happy with the performance of the LCoS microdisplay and wants to upgrade to an OLED. This will be a huge win for the French startup if true.

Back in 2013 it was reported that Google are in talks with Samsung Display to supply OLED microdisplays for the next-gen Glass product. Samsung Display indeed developed a 0.6" XGA OLED microdisplay back in 2011, but as far as I know SDC is not producing any microdipslays at the moment.

Knockr enables lock screen gestures - but on OLED phones only

Knockr is a new (and free) Android application that enables lock-screen gestures. The idea is that you can setup your phone so that a certain gesture opens a specific application. Knockr only works on devices with OLED screens - because it actually does not turns-off the display on the lock screen, it simply turns it black. On an LCD display, there will be a significant battery drain...

As more and more phones adopt OLED displays, we can expect software to take advantage of the OLED features. In the past few weeks we've seen two interesting patents (here and here) that detail innovative ways to save power on OLED displays.

Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch may sport a round OLED display

A few days ago Motorola unveiled an upcoming smart watch called the Moto 360. This device (which uses Google's new Android Wear OS) is, in my opinion, the first good looking smart watch or wearable device.

Now there are reports that the Moto 360 uses an OLED display. This makes a lot of sense. This will be an always-on watch, and at least according to photos, the default analog-watch display will be mostly black. So an OLED will be much more efficient than an LCD.

LG aims to lead the flexible OLED market for wearable devices, already in talks with major clients

LG Display's CEO, Han Sang-Beom, said yesterday that the company aims to lead the wearable device display market with its flexible plastic-based OLEDs. The company is already in talks with its major clients ("top-tier makers") to supply flexible displays for bendable devices.

Han says that the company is ready to supply "many clients" with flexible OLEDs. The company already has internal shipment targets, but he wouldn't reveal those targets and any of the potential clients. Han did mention both Sony and Google as companies "interested in wearable devices" but he didn't go as far as saying they are interested in LGD's OLEDs.

CNet: it may be time for Apple to consider OLED displays

CNet is reviewing Apple's iPhone 5s against Motorola's Moto X smartphone. This week they are comparing the display. The reviewer says that the Moto X display (a 4.7" 720p AMOLED, 316 ppi, non PenTile) is excellent and it may be time for Apple to consider using AMOLEDs in their products.

CNet correctly explains why Apple cannot yet use OLEDs though: there's a single supplier (SDC) with limited capacity, OLEDs still cost more than LCDs and they are more power hungry. These things will improve in the future, and the reviewer concludes that "Apple would be stupid not to use the display technology down the road".