Bloomberg points to Applied Materials’ quarterly earnings report as strong evidence that Apple will switch to OLED displays as early as next year. Applied Materials, who supplies equipment to make displays, has reported orders for $700 million in the second quarter, a figure that the company normally gets in a whole year. A year ago, orders totalled $180 million.
CEO Gary Dickerson appeared to be confident that this isn’t a one-quarter event, but sustainable growth:
“It’s not a peak or a one-time event,” he said “This is going to be sustainable growth. We all know who is the leader in terms of mobile products.”
Applied’s report is yet another sign that we should not bet on an iPhone with an OLED display, because, as the company said during the earnings call, “most display systems are very large, and also take two to three quarters to build, deliver, install in revenue.” As such, the report corroborates earlier reports of the switch to OLED being scheduled for 2017.
OLED screens carry various benefits: First of all, they screens are thinner, because they don’t require a back light; secondly, the colours are more vivid; and third, they are more energy efficient, hence switching display technology could positively impact the iPhone’s battery life.
If you cast your mind back, earlier reports claimed Apple display suppliers had announced or started preparing to use the new screen technology: LG Display CFO Kim Sang-Don said last month that his company was improving its OLED offering for mobile, says Bloomberg. Samsung is also hoping that Apple will make the switch to OLED, and, on top of that, Foxconn has announced plans to invest 200 billion yuan in its recent acquisition – display maker Sharp – to kick-start production of OLED screens.