Sources confirmed to Think Secret that Apple is investing in Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology, and is researching and investigating its uses in Apple products. The company reportedly plans to use OLED in next-generation iPods next year.
OLED devices are composed of two conductors with organic thin films in between them. These films emit a bright light when a current is applied.
There are a number of advantages to OLED that make it suitable for portable use. They are brighter, thinner, and lighter than LCDs, and do not require a backlight. OLED's have a wider viewing angle, faster response time for video, and greater power efficiency than LCDs. They are also more cost-effective, with a simpler manufacturing process and fewer required parts.
Apple's use of the technology will be for the display of its next-generation iPod. Set for announcement in early 2004, this iPod will boast a design and functionality radically different than current models.
Insiders also said that Apple is looking to expand OLED to its display line, or for its laptops, but that this isn't feasible for the early-2004 time frame.