A new report dropped today that Samsung is seeing “huge” demand for flexible OLED screen technology, and Apple is purportedly one of the biggest buyers. How is Apple going to use OLED technology, and will we see it used in 2012?
If you’re a big fan of those bendy OLED screens that you’ve seen showcased at sundy tech conventions over the past year or, then you’re in luck: it would appear that either the latter half of 2012 or the start of 2013 will kick off the mainstream use of OLED technology in . . . something. What the device or devices will be — and exactly how the flex-screened OLED technology will be leveraged remains to be seen.
The report comes by way of Apple Insider, who had this to say:
Citing industry sources in the Far East, The Korea Times reported that Apple is “likely” to be one of the handset makers who will ask Samsung to provide them with flexible OLED screens. Mass production of bendable OLED screens is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012. Talk of Apple and flexible OLED displays surfaced after Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun revealed his company has seen “huge” orders from device makers for its pliable organic light emitting diode displays. The report from Korea said while a flexible OLED will not be found in Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone, expected to be launched later this year, it’s possible that Apple could adapt the technology in the future.
For those who were hoping to jump on the “second half of 2012″ phrase from the quote above as proof that the iPhone 5 will ship in the fall (on the assumption that Apple will use this technology on the next iPhone),Apple Insider is quick to point out that there is no shot to see OLED on the new iPhone this year. Even with Samsung’s rollout of OLED products commencing in the second half of the year, the initial press run will be “limited,” suggesting that the technology will be extremely expensive and exclusive to begin with.
So, assuming that Apple is going to begin buying into OLED technology, how, where, and when can we expect to see it on their products?
Apple Insider reports that they’ve heard that OLED will eventually make its way onto future iPad designs, but they don’t really qualify how the bendable properties would be used. We’ve also heard in the past how Apple could eventually use the technology to craft a concave iPhone display — perhaps on the iPhone 6 — that would confirm to the user’s face when using it to make calls. But the Nexus S already has this concave shape to the screen without the need for OLED. And you’ll also recall that last year, the iPhone 5 was rumored to be getting the concave screen treatment by way of its investment into those sophisticated glass-cutting machines.
There have been even more cutting-edge notions of how OLED could be used down the line: the iPhone could be reduced to a credit card-sized and -shaped device that could fit easily into your wallet, thanks to OLED, or perhaps it could be used in tandem with a design to take on Google glasses. But these concepts would seem to be years away. So, I’ll put it to you, dear reader: what is OLED going to be used for in 2013?
By Michael Nace