Last month, Apple supplier Japan Display reportedly asked local banks and its own shareholders for around $897 million to fund part of an "extensive" restructuring effort of its business, which would see the supplier's manufacturing output shift from LCD to OLED panels. Now, the company is said to be seeking an outside partner to help pay part of the funds (via Nikkei).

Japan Display is facing a troubled time due to its speciality of making LCD displays in an era when companies are slowly shifting to OLED-only smartphones, including its main customer Apple, so the restructuring money will go towards installing OLED panel lines at some of its plants.

iphone 8 embrace the notch


Japan Display is looking at investors both locally and abroad, who could both "shore up its shaky financial base" as well as help out with running manufacturing operations in the shift from LCD to OLED production. Its decision on an outside partner is said to be planned for "as soon as next year."

Smartphone makers including Apple, its largest customer, are increasingly turning away from LCDs and toward state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays, where the Japanese company lags far behind South Korean rivals.

JDI, as the company is also known, has drawn up plans for extensive revamping in response, and is on the hunt for investors at home or abroad that can help shore up its shaky financial base and lend a hand in running operations.

Japan Display will begin with a cut back on LCD production as well as laying off "more than 3,500 workers" at parts assembly plants in China and the Philippines. In Japan, the company will initiate an "early retirement program" for 250 volunteers. LCD-focused plants, including a central location in Japan, will completely halt production and be repurposed for OLED panels, while the remaining workers will be transferred to other factories.

The cost of Japan Display's restructuring plans is estimated at around $1.35 billion, with many market watchers expecting the supplier to end its next fiscal year with another monetary loss, "marking the company's fourth straight year in the red." For its bank loans, three local banks have agreed to extend Japan Display new lines of credit worth about $997 million.

Other Apple suppliers have already begun making OLED panels, including the current leader in the field, Samsung Display, and up-and-comer LG Display. Apple itself is said to be investing in LG Display's OLED production, with the hopes that it can lessen its reliance on Samsung as it shifts to OLED-only iPhones in 2018 or 2019.

For Japan Display, the company's planned shift to OLED began with a report from December 2015, where it cited a plan to begin mass producing OLED panels for iPhones by spring 2018. Then, in November 2016, the supplier sought a government-backed fund to improve its LCD technology and introduce OLED lines at its plants.

Top Rated Comments

EightyTwenty Avatar
58 months ago
OLED is the future, but God that iPhone 8 concept is fugly.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
58 months ago
So the main advantage and why we see Apple investing in this is for brighter displays at lower power? Though as far as I understand, with OLED, when it's black, the pixel is actually turned off, so there's no blacker anymore, how does this translate to mLED?
OLED and mLED are both LED, so they have the same display characteristics and advantages over LCD. Fully off is black. Wide display angles. Etc.

The main difference is:

- OLED is made from organic materials like polymers that are carbon and hydrogen based. Commonly used in high resolution flat displays from watches to smartphones to TVs.

- mLED is made using inorganic materials like compounds of gallium, silicon, nitrogen. Large inorganic LEDs are used all around us as common red or green power indicators, and in white or yellow for bulb replacements. Note these are mostly fairly large single dot applications. (Older calculators used tiny red gallium arsenide LED dot matrix displays for numbers.)

..............

To actually qualify as "microLED", each inorganic LED is supposed to be 100 microns in diameter or less. If it were possible to jam them side by side, that's roughly 250 PPI. In real life, commercial mLEDs are still around 150 microns and used at more like 5-25 PPI.

While one-off experimental mLED displays have been made at 1000 PPI and higher, they're also fingernail sized and single color.

Currently the search is on for a breakthrough method of making mLED panels on a scale and resolution that would make them competitive with OLED at even a watch sized display. But so far they've been commercially viable only for wall sized displays made up of relatively large pixel blocks at a very low PPI.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
58 months ago
Hmm, anyone can enlighten me why mLED will be better than OLED? I thought mLED is a similar but not quite in terms of feature and is a cheaper version of OLED?
OLED =organic LED
Micro LED = marketing term for inorganic LED

A few years back, mLED offered higher brightness at lower power. It still can, but OLED is constantly improving, and the difference for the extra cost might never be worth it.

This is a good link, IMO. Think in terms of photography. With the display being 'Sharper' along with the color and efficiencies that come with OLED. :apple:

http://www.ledinside.com/intelligence/2016/10/ledinside_advantages_of_micro_led_in_fine_pitch_display_applications
That article, like most others people quote, is about using MicroLEDs in billboard sized displays.

The article is excited about a 4mm dot pitch. That's about 6 PPI. Six. IIRC, even the highest density mLED TV made so far was only about 40 PPI.

Compare that to the 300 PPI in a typical "retina" display. Or the Samsung Galaxy 8 with 571 PPI in its OLED screen.

"Micro" is a very misleading adjective at this point in its mass manufacturing stage.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
microsoft office icons

Microsoft Releases Office for Mac Update With Full Apple Silicon Support in Excel

Tuesday January 18, 2022 4:15 am PST by
Microsoft has released a new version of its Office for Mac productivity suite that includes an updated Excel app with 100% native support for Apple silicon machines. According to the release notes accompanying version 16.57, Excel will now run natively on Macs powered by Apple's M1-series processors without having to use the Rosetta 2 translation layer, which means anyone using a Mac with an ...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Rumored iPhone 14 Pro Feature Delayed Until Next Year

Wednesday January 19, 2022 3:00 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored under-display Face ID technology will not be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, according to recent reports. Based on the latest rumors, it now looks unlikely that the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature Face ID technology under the display as several reports claimed over the past year. Display industry consultant Ross Young, who often reveals ...