Apple Wants The iTV To Be OLED, But Samsung And LG Won’t Sell Them The Panels [Report]

Apple Wants The iTV To Be OLED, But Samsung And LG Won’t Sell Them The Panels [Report]

Earlier this week, we heard a report from iTV obsessive Gene Munster that Apple was looking to buy up HDTV panels to launch their long-rumored connected television set by the end of 2012. But according to a new report from the sometimes-accidentally-reliable Digitimes, when Apple came knocking for display panels, the big boys all said ‘no.’

According to Digitimes‘s “industry sources,” Apple wants nothing less than an IGZO OLED panel in its integrated iTV. There’s only one problem:

Apple reportedly has sought to source IGZO panels from Sharp for the production of iTVs as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which unveiled their 55-inch Super OLED and AMOLED TV models, respectively, at CES, both have regarded OLED TVs are their killer products for 2012, and therefore the two Korea-based companies are unlikely to share OLED panel production capacities with Apple.

Although Sharp’s 8G lines are able to produce panels in 32- 46- and even 55-inch sizes, the Japan-based panel maker seems unready to start shipping the IGZO panels needed for the production of iTV sets, the sources indicated. Additionally, yield rates of Sharp’s IGZO panels are also a major concern.

Personally, I think this is probably bull. If Apple really does intend on bringing an iTV to market this year, they aren’t going to go with OLED. They are still too expensive of a technology in the sizes and yields Apple will need for a killer new product. Plus, if you look back at Apple’s history, Cupertino tends not to adopt unproven technology… and OLED is still pretty raw. Heck, Apple hasn’t even adopted OLED in its iOS devices, instead preferring IPS LCD displays, even though Super AMOLED displays in the sub-10-inch range are relatively cheap. If they aren’t doing OLED in mobile, they won’t do it on the iTV.

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  • Robert Hersey

    I agree , maybe the 3rd gen will be OLED . 

  • Jordan Clay

    I call bull too.   Apple is Samsung’s largest buyer, and Samsung makes a whole lot more money selling parts than it does phones.  I know Apple has been looking for a way to ditch Samsung but it is absolutely impossible since they are 2 of the largest players in the game.  They are in bed together and they aren’t getting out anytime soon.

  • Nutz320

    “Plus, if you look back at Apple’s history, Cupertino tends not to adopt unproven technology…” No! They do what they want, but only when the they think the tech is ready, not when it proves itself. They know when it’s ready.

  • superamoled

    WHY APPLE CAN NOT USE LARGE OLED-TV PANELS BEFORE Q4 2013
    http://www.oled-display.net/wh

  • ADimensionOfMind

    Sigh… more Digitimes bunkum

  • Freek Monsuur

    I think Apple wants to wait until it can bring something revolutionary, like a Corning Gorilla glass borderless display, maybe even see-through when it’s off. Apple tends to enter markets with never before seen products, like the iPhone, iPad, etc. They’re not going to do just another television with an Apple TV box inside.

  • HerbalEd

    I don’t think Apple really wants to “ditch” Samsung. If Samsung wasn’t there, some other company would be. Apple needs Samsung ….. hey, they need each other. However, Apple and Samsung don’t mind playing some very hard hardball business with each other.

  • Ian

    they are still not in apples mobiles because OLED, despite it’s potential, still uses more power than LCD.

    Being as a TV would be plugged into a wall, this power inefficiency would not be a deciding factor.

  • MacGoo

    Bull. OLED is like 4G was a year ago: new, untested and unstable tech. There are unresolved half-life issues (especially with blue pixels) and the price would be astronomical in a product that is already likely to command a premium price.

    Completely agree with you John. LED backlit? Possibly. Plasma? Maybe. But OLED? Not a chance.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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