Is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) exploring the use of OLED displays for an iWatch or similar type of flexible wearable tech product? OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology is especially well-suited for flexible display purposes since it can be fabricated on a thin plastic substrate.
On the other hand, OLED displays also have shorter lifespans than other types of displays due to the use of organic materials, and they typically do not perform well in bright ambient light environments. Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his skepticism about Apple’s potential use of OLED displays at an investor conference earlier this year.
“If you ever buy anything online and really want to know what the color is, as many people do, you should really think twice before you depend on the color from an OLED display,” said Cook via CNET. He also noted the color saturation of OLED is “awful” compared to Apple’s Retina displays.
However, a recently granted patent suggests that Apple has solved the OLED problems that Cook was referring to reports Patently Apple. In a patent titled, “Organic Light Emitting Diode Display Having Photodiodes,” Apple outlines a method to extend the life of “aging OLEDs: and to improve OLED display visibility in bright ambient light environments by using “photodetectors” embedded throughout the display.