) chief executive Tim Cook did not hold back in sharing his
thoughts on OLED displays. During a Goldman Sachs (NYSE:
) conference last week, Cook said that the technology was
"awful." "Some people use OLED displays, but the color saturation
is awful," he
. "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 may have knocked OLED (which stands for "organic
light-emitting diode") technology simply to praise his company's
own Retina Displays. "We want the best display," he added. "I
think we've got it."
Even so, Cook's words could go a long way in directing
consumer and corporate purchases. Apple could have easily made
its own OLED display to compete, but it went in another
direction. The company's lack of faith in that technology (which
has yet to be proven as the future leader of displays) may be a
sign of the troubles that are ahead.
Nonetheless, LG Display is reportedly investing $657 million
to expand the production of OLED displays. According to
, the investment is for a South Korean-based plant. The expansion
is set to begin this month and will conclude in June 2014.
This announcement comes at the same time as a
report that Samsung, the world's largest TV manufacturer, plans
to ramp up production for OLEDs.
) was the first company to release an OLED display in North
America. In 2008 the Japanese manufacturer announced that it
would release the
, an 11-inch panel that featured a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
It was also one of the thinnest TVs in production, featuring a
depth of just three millimeters.
As a luxury item with very few uses (most consumers don't want
11-inch TVs), the XEL-1 was not a big seller for the company. It
was more of a show piece to prove that the company could bring
this unique technology to market far ahead of its competitors. At
the time, Apple had not even developed its first Retina
Today OLED displays are much more common, particularly in
smartphones. They have yet to achieve true mainstream success as
the leading TV format, however. This is partially due to the fact
that OLED televisions carry a much higher price tag than the
average set. In fact, LG Display reportedly plans to sell a
55-inch OLED panel for $10,000.
Despite Cook's disdain for OLEDs, his company fully supports
the work of its manufacturers -- particularly LG Display, which
to have supplied displays for the latest iPhone.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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