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Anyone who isn't familiar with the business relationship that the two companies actually share will probably assume that Apple and Samsung are the worst of enemies. Although that statement wouldn't really be off by much, the truth is that the two giants have had multiple business relationships for years now, in spite of all the controversies and lawsuits in-between them. For example, the rigid OLED panel used in making the innovative touch bar for the new range of Apple MacBook Pros is a product supplied from the A2 line of Samsung Displays.


The reason as to why Apple chose OLED over LCD for making the touch bar lies in the fact that OLED panels are considerably slimmer than LCD panels (three times approximately). Another report indicates that even the Driver IC used to bond the touch bar to the MacBook was supplied by System LSI division of the Korean tech giant. There is no doubt that OLED is the next step in terms of display evolution as they consume less power, produce better colors and have a lower response time than LCD. In fact, most smartphones have been predicted to switch over to OLED panels by 2018. Once you consider that Samsung is the largest OLED panel manufacturer in the world, the future does seem bright for them.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


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In the latest report regarding the iPhone 8, it has been mentioned that Apple will launch three variants, instead of the two that we are accustomed to. The rumor was supplied by KGI Securities, who have an excellent track record of providing the internet with accurate leaks when it comes to Apple products. If it's indeed true, then there will be two different variants of the bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 8 (Plus), along with a single smaller 4.7-inch regular version.


1. 4.7-inch LCD display and a single camera
2. 5.5-inch LCD display and a dual rear camera setup
3. 5.5-inch OLED display and a dual rear camera setup


I am not sure, but the iPhone 8 Plus having both an LCD version, as well as an OLED version could be directly related to the fact that Samsung is unable to produce sufficient OLED panels for the upcoming iPhones. According to a report by Bloomberg, Samsung's production rate of the OLED panels isn't high enough to keep up with Apple's demand. Nevertheless, Samsung will still be the only supplier of the OLED panels to Apple till 2018, as they are already into a contract. We will find out more in the coming months.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It is no secret that a lot depends on the Galaxy S8 and its success for Samsung as they continue to struggle against the huge losses suffered recently. In fact, we are pretty sure that Samsung is going to leave no stone unturned in order to make the upcoming smartphone as close to perfection as it can be. In spite of Samsung officially trying to keep a lid on things, rumors have been getting out about the S8 ever since day one and the latest rumor suggests that the Korean giant could be opting for a flexible OLED panel this time around.


The alleged Full-Screen flexible OLED panel with a resolution of 4K will bend around the eyes to make VR experience as immersive as it possibly can be. Keep in mind that Samsung had been using AMOLED displays for its flagship and high-end devices for a long time now and since AMOLED panels too are a type of OLED panel, we are not entirely sure what the difference would be in terms of real life performance in that respect.


What really sounds interesting is that according to Park Won-sang, an engineer of Samsung Display, Samsung may remove most sensors and even the physical Home button completely from the front side of the S8. In his own words, "Samsung Display would roll out a full-screen display whose display area ratio (a scale that measures space taken up by a display on the front part of a handset) reaches more than 90 percent next year."


The senior engineer further added that the screen-to body ratio might go up to as high as 99%, which is even higher than the only edge-to-edge phone we have seen till date, the Xiaomi Mi Mix. A Samsung flagship smartphone that will sport a 4K edge-to-edge flexible OLED panel! We would say Samsung has got our attention.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


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Recently, the Wall Street Journal (Chinese Edition) has published a piece about a new business contract between Apple and Samsung. According to their source in South Korea, the 3-year contract requires Samsung to supply OLED smartphone panels to Apple for upcoming iPhones in 2017 and beyond. Although the rumor regarding this contract has been around for a while now, this adds new credibility to it. Arguably, Apple is still talking with JDI, LG, Sharp and AUO before the deal becomes final.


The article adds previously unknown details by stating that this order involves production and supply of about 100 million 5.5-inch AMOLED displays that are possibly meant to be used in the iPhone 7s. Judging by Apple's current trend of reserving the larger 5.5-inch panels for their "Plus" models, chances are that these will be used to make the iPhone 7s Plus rather than the regular 7s. Whether they will still be calling it "7s Plus" or not, remains to be seen.


Previously, famous Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had stated that Apple will not be releasing any OLED phones before 2018, but he has changed his opinion in light of the new situation. Now, Kuo is of the opinion that Apple will release at least one version of its future iPhones in 2017 with an OLED display. Rumors and predictions also suggest that Apple could be going back to the glass-metal design of the iPhone 6 and it is perhaps for the best.


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Lately, we have been hearing a lot about OLED panels for future iPhones and from what we have heard, Apple will make the switch to OLED from IPS somewhere around 2018. While that date may seem far away, preparations have probably started as we are talking about the iPhone here!


The truth is that as far as OLED panels are concerned, there aren't a lot of manufacturers that can produce these displays on massive scales. It was thought before that although Samsung is the biggest name in OLED production, Apple might approach JDI or Japan Display Inc. for the supply. The rumors were based on the fact that Apple and Samsung are not exactly on "friendly" terms anymore.


A new set of rumors however, point out that the Korean giant is going to invest anywhere between $6.64 billion to $7.47 billion very soon into their panel production wing. Furthermore, the rumors also state that in 2016 itself, a sum of $2.49 billion to $3.32 billion is going into Samsung's OLED production process. Supposedly, this would bump up the production rate to 30,000 - 40,000 sheets on a monthly basis. An additional $4.17 billion will be invested next year for ensuring 45,000 units are manufactured monthly.


As far as rumors go, these massive numbers are the results of a contract between Samsung and Apple that has already been signed. This is what we have heard so far, but as always, take the "leaks" and "findings" with a pinch of salt as nothing has yet been officially declared.


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For those of you who don't know it already, Samsung Display is a division of Samsung Electronics that supplies panels to multiple manufacturers all over the world. Their clientele includes Apple, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and of course, Samsung's own internal departments. Apparently, Samsung Display's recent flexible OLED sales to the aforementioned Chinese OEMs have reached brand new heights as this sub-division of the South Korean giant is boasting of a sales figure that amounts to a sum of over 1 billion USD in Q3, 2016. The fact that ONLY Samsung Display makes the 6th-gen A3 flexible OLED panels is largely responsible for the impressive sales number.


In a report by IHS Market, both the small and mid-sized display business is dominated by Samsung Display with an astounding market share of 96.2% in Q3, 2016. In the entire display business, Samsung maintains the lead with a share of 31.8%, while Japan Display Inc. (JDI) comes in as a distant second and a market share of 15.4%. LG is at the third position with a respectable 13.1% share of the business.

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Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


 

The SID or Society for Information Display Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry and thanks to their brand new quad-edge flexible OLED display technology, Samsung got it this year. Samsung had earlier won the Display of the Year Award from the SID back in 2013 and 2015 for its Super AMOLED display technology. The award was given to the South Korean company because of their technological prowess and the feature set which they displayed with the quad-edge flexible OLED display.

 

Although LG still maintains that curved displays are fragile and uncomfortable to hold, the SID award was given largely to Samsung because of the fact that the award winning curved displays are easier and more comfortable to hold than flat panels. Given the popularity and the apparent opinions of the experts, I think LG might need to rethink their decision to avoid curved displays. In other news, some rumors are predicting that the Google Pixel 2 could feature a curved display as well and we all know about the iPhone 8 OLED and its rumoured futuristic design.

 

Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)





Reports from Nikkei suggests that Apple might be striking deals with the two Korean giants, Samsung and LG. Apparently, Apple is looking to buy OLED panels on a massive scale and as a result, they are looking to these manufacturers for providing them with that. If Nikkei is to be believed, then the deals could amount to a total of $12 billion and we could be seeing the first OLED iPhones by 2017.


Provided Apple does not break its previous streak of releasing iPhones that they have followed for the last eight iterations, then we will see the iPhone 7 later in 2016. This would ideally make the iPhone 7s the first Apple phone to sport an OLED panel according to the information we have now. However, this is a prediction made by taking a lot of things for granted and things do not always pan out that way.


Although OLED panels are more expensive than regular LCD panels used in most smartphones nowadays, Samsung had been using their own brand of AMOLED screens for years now. OLED displays offer inky blacks and punchier colors that just look more vivid than even the best of the IPS panels. It is too early to tell for sure, but it seems like after Apple's sales failed to show a significant improvement in 2015, the company is looking for ways to renovate their iPhones.

 



According to market analysts like JPMorgan Chase, Apple has ordered OLED panels in huge quantities, as made evident from the company's 10-K filing. The orders amount to a total of $4 billion approximately, with Samsung being the number one beneficiary, followed by JDI and Sharp.


The multi-billion dollar purchase orders are extended over the period of an entire year and the popular consensus is that the panels will be used to construct the iPhone 8's display. Manufacturing costs associated with OLED panels have come down drastically in the last year or so, to the point where they can actually be cheaper to produce than the LCD panels, when manufactured on a large scale. Therefore, it only seems logical that Apple will shift towards OLED which offers better colors, deeper blacks and even greater power-efficiency, as compared to LCD.


In other news, Apple has patented an AR mapping tech which will provide the user with real-time augmentation with his/her surroundings while using the concerned application. Wireless charging could also be included in the iPhone 8, provided that Foxconn manages to iron out the kinks in its Energous WattUp tech that can be used to charge a smartphone from as far as 15 feet!


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



According to a latest report by the Korea Herald, the Apple iPhone 8 will feature an "All-curved" OLED display. Now, we have seen the dual curved display from Samsung on the S7 Edge and we have also seen an almost bezel-less design for smartphones from the likes of the Xiaomi Mi Mix and the Honor Magic, but we are hearing about the "All-curved" display for the first time. Although it is only speculation at the moment, we are guessing that it CAN mean at least one variant of the iPhone 8 will feature an "edgeless" OLED display that's curved on all the four sides.


According to the report,


"The OLED version of the new iPhone will all be curved as Apple ordered all plastic OLED - not glass - from Samsung Display. Samsung is capable of supplying a little less than 100 million units of curved OLED displays to Apple," - The Korea Herald.


This basically presents two problems; a display that has no bezel and is curved on all sides can become very difficult to use without triggering unwanted responses from the phone. We are hoping that Apple will somehow improve on the inadequate palm rejection tech that's in place right now on curved phones such as the S7 Edge. Secondly, the fact that plastic OLED was chosen in place of glass may not sit well with Apple customers, if the material doesn't feel premium to the touch. What do you think about all this? Let us know in the comments.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



If you are an Apple fan, we have good news for you today. According to a report by The Investor (South Korea), Samsung has just struck a deal with Apple to supply the Cupertino giant with an additional 60 million OLED panels for the iPhone 8. We say "additional" because this comes on top of the 100 million OLED panels that Apple had ordered from Samsung in a contract last year. It seems that Apple is depending on their arch-rival to provide them with the major bulk of OLED panels for the next iPhones.


This is good news because of two reasons; the first and the foremost being the fact that Apple will indeed be finally switching over to OLED from LCD. Not only does an OLED display provide a better viewing experience, but they also are significantly more power-efficient than LCD panels. Secondly, the 160 million OLED panels theoretically means that the previous rumor which stated that only the most expensive Apple iPhone 8 will feature the new displays is most likely false. It could very well mean that all iPhone 8 variants will feature the OLED panels this year, which is definitely happy news for Apple fans around the world.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


LG flex

 

LG is pushing the boundaries of flexible OLED Displays technology due to the market's ever-increasing push towards curved display technology. Naturally smartphones are among the first adopters and LG is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to curved technology. After the LG G Flex 2 was unveiled at CES 2015 in became abundantly clear that the Korean manufacturer intends to further develop bendable display technology and is investing in its future.

 

lg flex

 

And while the P-OLED panel in the G Flex 2 is mighty impressive, LG will not be stopping there and a new reports hint toward ongoing development of a truly flexible screen and even early units already available. This is achieved by a whole new plastic OLED technology that LG claims is better than current curved screens in every possible way.

 

The way LG Chem plans to revolutionize bending displays is through a new manufacturing technology. The current generation bendable OLED panels, like the one inside the G Flex 2 feature a thin glass substrate. This allows for a certain level of flexibility, but limits the bending angle to 75mm. Next generation displays will be created using plastic for a more than double decrease in the bending radios, set at about 30mm. What this means in plain terms is that the new panel can be bent in a lot points, which can be as little as 30mm apart.

 

lg flex

 

The highly-bendable P-OLED units have 75lm brightness, 60lm/W efficiency, 3,000k color temperature and CRI over 85, which is adequate by today's standards. LG has announced that panels are already available for testing and engineering purposes and can be purchased for $450. Mass production is set for July 2015, which is not that far away.

 

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LG G Watch 2

 

LG has just started selling the LG G Watch on the Google Play store. However, we are hearing reports and confirmation about the 2nd Generation G Watch. According to an LG official speaking to the KoreaTimes, LG will unveil a brand new smartwatch (LG G Watch 2) at the IFA 2014 fair in Berlin, which is only a month away.

 

It's unclear whether LG will show the G Watch 2 to users or have a media and business clients-only affair. The source point that the LG G Watch 2 could have an OLED panel made by LG Display and make use of a Qualcomm chipset.

 

LG was reportedly eyeing its in-house Odin chips for the task but they aren't yet ready to make it to commercial products.

 

 

Sourc [Korean]


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