Sources in South Korea claim that the technology company Apple is working with suppliers on a giant OLED screen and the finished device is expected to go into production in 2015. Or so claims the The Korea Herald in a piece published Sunday that doesn’t name the local manufacturer involved in the project but does quote Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Seoul-based IBK Securities, who said: “The company is making 65-inch organic light-emitting diode sample panels for Apple’s iTV in collaboration with Apple. However, it is not certain whether Apple will use it for the mass production of its long-rumored iTV as it is still running tests.”
The piece goes on to claim that Apple has been planning to launch an actual Apple television for some time and that the delay in coming to market has been caused by choosing an OLED, rather than LCD display. OLED technology offers far superior image quality, depth, color balance and resolution.
But, unlike LCD – the technology found in the vast majority of modern computer monitors and HD TV sets – it is much harder to mass produce and therefore significantly more expensive. Still, both LG and Samsung are investing in the technology – the unnamed manufacturer in the Korea Herald piece is reportedly LG Display – and launched their first curved-screen OLED TVs at the International CES in January.
The report comes as a 2010 email from Steve Jobs has been unearthed. Produced as part of the company’s ongoing legal battles with Samsung, its contents seem to undermine all of the reports that continue to claim Apple wants to enter the living room with a physical TV set.
Instead, the correspondence shows that the company sees being a multi-media hub as the future – specifically a next-generation Apple TV set-top box – that can push and pull content from multiple sources to the TV screen, complete with simple yet comprehensive search and remote control features.
The launch this month of the Amazon Fire TV box and reports of Google’s own Android TV system show that Apple isn’t the only company thinking along the same lines. And yet, the reports persist that Apple is making a television set.