Apple is negotiating with Sharp to secure organic LED displays for the next generation of iPhones and iPads, reports Bloomberg, quoting an unnamed “person familiar with the matter.” Any OLED supply agreement would depend on the Osaka-based company’s output capacity.
Bloomberg says the discussions stem from Apple’s desire to increase the number of suppliers for OLED screens. So far the only product Apple makers with an OLED is the Apple Watch. LG provides the smartwatch displays. iPhones and iPads use LCD technology, which offers lower manufacturing costs than OLED screens.
LCDs use a backlight behind the screen to emit light, and act as a valve allowing different amounts of this light to create the colors and images on the display. OLED is made up of many tiny LEDs, each emitting their own light and colors. They don’t require an “always on” backlight, as each LED can be on or off as needed, and emitting the right kind of light needed to create the images you’re seeing.
OLED technology is used in high end smartphones today, such as the Samsung Galaxy J3, the Gionee S6, and the Motorola X Force. Supporters of the technology praise its high contrast/deep blacks and potential thickness and power consumption advantages. Apple, however, has argued its LCDs provide superior color accuracy.