Apple May Invest in AMOLED Supplier AU Optronics for Future iPhones

iPhone6s-back-frontFollowing rumors claiming that iPhones will adopt OLED displays in less than three years, Taiwanese website Focus Taiwan cites local media reports stating that Apple is planning to invest in AMOLED display supplier AU Optronics.

According to the reports, Apple is likely to transform AUO into an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) screen supplier for production of future iPhones, and if AUO agrees with Apple's fund injection plan, the Taiwanese firm could see its sales and gross margin grow significantly.

AU Optronics declined to comment on its potential investment deal with Apple, but the supplier's shares of the company gained 5.15% on Tuesday to close at NT$9.53 on the Taiwanese stock market amid the rumors.

AU Optronics, which has supplied LCD panels to Apple in the past, has reportedly been developing AMOLED displays for more than a decade, and last year it began shipping AMOLED panels to Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers. Apple currently uses LCD panels for iPhones, sourced primarily from Sharp and Japan Display.

Last month, it was reported that Apple has been recruiting talent from AU Optronics and Qualcomm to work at a Taiwanese factory, where the company is purportedly developing thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices. The secretive lab may be specifically focused on OLED and Micro-LED technologies.

Samsung, LG and Japan Display have also been rumored to provide Apple with OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018.

OLED displays typically have brighter colors and deeper blacks, and the lack of a backlight increases power efficiency, but the panels can also have shorter lifespans and higher manufacturing costs compared to LCD technology. Apple has reportedly been consulting with OLED panel makers to eliminate potential drawbacks.

Samsung is the most popular smartphone maker that uses AMOLED displays, while the Apple Watch became Apple's first AMOLED device last April.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago

I own a Nexus 6P and a iPhone 6S for work and play. Now while I am a self-proclaimed Apple fan boy, I can honestly and objectively say and without bias, that the Nexus 6P with Samsung's WQHD Super AMOLED screen, completely destroys the iPhone's Retina HD Display—and it's not even close.

Why Apple would wait three more year's to improve their screen tech to match the quality of the current WQHD Super AMOLED is very surprising. I would assume that the next major advancement in iPhone screen design would arrive with this year's iPhone 7? If not, my guess is that the Retina HD displays are much cheaper to produce. Given Apple's exorbitant iPhone price points, they are making a lot of money off their consumers by holding back on the tech, all the while claiming that it's the "best" when in actuality, it is not.

People always assume that Apple can just use any technology that other companies might be using. Just think how many Nexus AMOLED phones there are in existence or sold compared to iPhones. Comparing limited production products to an iPhone is a useless comparison. Apple needs something that can withstand the hurtles of major mass production far beyond how these other phones are produced. Apple needs things that can't be done with the production of these phones. They need them produced cheaper and MUCH FASTER while keeping the same quality control and durability or hopefully even making it better.

This is why I have no problem with Apple waiting.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
They are not sharper! Where does this kind of thing come from? And they don't have "brighter" colors. They have had more saturated colors, which isn't really a good thing. When Samsung finally decided to calibrate its displays, as Apple had been doing for years, the displays no longer had those unnatural "brighter" colors. You know, when flesh tones look orange?

And they aren't more efficient either. On average, an AMOLED screen is about as efficient as an LCD screen.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Makes sense to diversify with your suppliers. I'd be wary though if I were AU after the whole GT Advanced debacle.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

Definitely some downsides to OLED. They get burn-in and die over time so your screen eventually loses brightness and dies.

A perfect technology for Apple then. :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
1. Plant a rumour about "potential investment deal with Apple"
2. Decline comment
3. Surprisingly, stock price goes up!

(Obviously I have no proof whatsoever, the above represents a completely fictional case unrelated to the topic, I do not own any AAPL stock and I'm actually a hamster.)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
I own a Nexus 6P and a iPhone 6S for work and play. Now while I am a self-proclaimed Apple fan boy, I can honestly and objectively say and without bias, that the Nexus 6P with Samsung's WQHD Super AMOLED screen, completely destroys the iPhone's Retina HD Display—and it's not even close.

Why Apple would wait three more year's to improve their screen tech to match the quality of the current WQHD Super AMOLED is very surprising. I would assume that the next major advancement in iPhone screen design would arrive with this year's iPhone 7? If not, my guess is that the Retina HD displays are much cheaper to produce. Given Apple's exorbitant iPhone price points, they are making a lot of money off their consumers by holding back on the tech, all the while claiming that it's the "best" when in actuality, it is not.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Doubles the Price of RAM Upgrade on Entry-Level 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Saturday May 30, 2020 4:00 pm PDT by
Apple today doubled the price for upgrading the RAM on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, with customers in the United States now being charged $200 to move from 8GB to 16GB compared to the previous $100 upgrade price. Similar increases are seen in other countries, such as moving from €125 to €250 in Germany and from £100 to £200 in the United Kingdom. Current pricing on RAM upgrade for ...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

6.1-inch 'iPhone 12' Production to Begin in July Ahead of Other 2020 Models

Monday June 1, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Volume production of Apple's forthcoming 6.1-inch "iPhone 12" models will start in July-August ahead of the rest of the company's flagship iPhone lineup this year, according to a new report by DigiTimes. Apple is widely rumored to be launching four new ‌iPhone‌ models in the usual September or October timeframe, although supply constraints and delays in production ramp-up could cause a...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 With Fixes for Recent 'unc0ver' Jailbreak Vulnerability

Monday June 1, 2020 9:58 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, minor updates that come a little over a week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.5, major updates that brought the Exposure Notification API, FaceTime changes, mask-related unlocking updates and more. The iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings >...

Apple Introducing New Internal USB-C Diagnostic Tool

Sunday May 31, 2020 7:26 pm PDT by
Apple is introducing a new internal USB-C Diagnostic Tool as a successor to its existing Serial Number Reader, which can be used to both collect a device's serial number directly from its logic board and test power on a device itself. Image via Giulio Zompetti With only a Lightning version previously available, images have surfaced of a new USB-C Diagnostic Tool (UDT) that appears to be known ...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...