Reports are flying that Apple has hired James (Jueng-Gil) Lee, an expert in the area of OLED displays and their uses. Lee has worked for companies such as Samsung as an engineer, and most recently was working in LG’s display department.
The reports, which stem from a press release by the OLED Association, all focus around the technology’s potential application in a future Apple Television. That could make sense: OLED is on the verge of becoming usable in such a mass scale, though its cost is still a factor. Apple could potentially have the scale to push cost down enough to make such a TV possible. However, more likely is that Apple would use its high margins and tout the OLED-equipped TV as a premium product with a fairly high price.
There are other applications for OLED/AMOLED displays. For example, Samsung uses AMOLED displays in almost all of its smartphones. AMOLED displays typically require less power to display darker backgrounds, since there is no pixel being lit. The drawback is that they are often much more difficult to read in full daylight. Perhaps Apple is banking on improvements in the technology to negate this problem.
Personally, I’m still suspicious of this rumored TV. It just doesn’t make sense, and Apple isn’t a company that jumps in to a market just for the sake of doing so. I could, however, see such a display being used in a watch. AMOLED/OLED screens are notably thinner, since they don’t require the extra backlighting layer of other displays. The thickness of the rumored “iWatch” would be paramount, and a darker UI could also help to save battery life – something else that would be in high demand, if the device is powering radios and refreshing content and media.