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A Forecast of an OLED based iPad for 2018 Seems Overzealous

10.6. NEWS - RUMOR

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Last November we reported on Apple notifiying their supply chain of its plan to switch to OLED displays for future iPhones and beyond. It was truly surprising news considering that Apple's CEO downplayed OLED quality quite emphatically. During a 2013 Goldman Sachs Conference Tim Cook stated the following: "If you buy things online, you should think twice before you depend on the color of the OLED display. The Retina display is twice as bright as an OLED display." Cook added that "Some people use OLED displays, but the color saturation is awful." Yet in that same report we noted that while Cook was making that statement, Apple was working on OLED technology that was popping up in a number of patent filings. Fast forward to today and Samsung has been given the exclusive contract for OLED displays to debut on the 2017 iPhones – or at least their top end iPhones. Although LG and others will have their OLED production up and running for 2018, demand for OLED displays is now outpacing supply by a wide margin.


A new report out of Korea today states that Samsung "is not meeting requests for supplies of OLEDs that are flooding in. There is a phenomenon of scarcity of OLEDs for Smartphones," since Apple has made a deal with Samsung for future iPhones.


Samsung Display recently received a request for supply of OLEDs for Smartphones from Xiaomi but it proposed timing of supply to after second half of next year. Realistically, this supply of OLEDs will be used for new products that will come out after second half of 2018. Xiaomi is at a situation where it has to prepare a different solution since it has become difficult for Xiaomi to catch up to its competitors that are beginning to use OLEDs more.


China's VIVO and OPPO, which have grown quickly by targeting young generations between age of 20 and 30, are also going through emergencies in supply and demand of OLEDs.


In closing the report noted that "Samsung Display cannot respond to all demands from its customers since it needs to consider a possibility of lowering operation rates of its facilities as markets start to become stagnant. A fact that Apple is starting to use flexible OLEDs for its iPhones has become a clear reason why global markets are changing very quickly."


With so much pressure on the industry to catch up with OLED demand, the idea that Apple will have an iPad with a flexible OLED display by 2018 seems overzealous at minimum. But that's exactly what the securities analyst over at KGI is claiming. It's being reported that "the iPad will follow the iPhone in adopting OLED technology screens starting in 2018."


Another oddball forecast by this same analyst is that Apple will add a 10.5" iPad. While I could easily see a 10.5" iPad replacing the 9.7" model, that's not what the forecast is projecting and it sounds pretty lame to think that Apple would have two iPads models that are less than an inch apart in size without a distinct reason for it. An added inch on an iPhone makes a big difference, but on an iPad, you'd be hard pressed to notice such a change.


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