updated 08:10 am EST, Thu February 18, 2010
Rumor has Super AMOLED winning Apple over
The next-generation iPhone may switch to Samsung's Super AMOLED screen technology, according to rumors in the display business. Although Apple has purportedly been hesitant to use OLEDs due to their high power draw on bright backgrounds for e-mail and web browsing, the new screens used in the Wave and Beam could potentially overcome this problem. Apple is said by OLED-Display to have a "lifetime" deal with Samsung for AMOLED screens but to have held back on using it for now.
Publicly, Apple is only known to have its $500 million deal with LG Display, but the other Korean company isn't believed to have enough capacity to produce AMOLEDs at volumes the iPhone would need.
Whether or not Apple would use the specific display technique isn't known, although Super AMOLED is potentially ideal. It builds capacitive touch directly into the organic display itself and is not only thinner than the existing, two-layer LCD plus touch of the current iPhone but is potentially much more viewable. In addition to providing a much deeper color gamut and higher contrast, Super AMOLED largely overcomes the problems OLEDs have with visibility outdoors and can often be easier to read in bright sunlight than an LCD.
A choice of the sort would potentially be supported by part leaks showing a taller iPhone; as Apple is unlikely to use a smaller screen, Samsung's other main option is the 3.7-inch, 800x480 screen it uses for the Beam. Similar-size AMOLEDs and LCDs exist, however, such as the 854x480 screens used for the Nexus One and Droid.