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Apple、「Apple Watch Series 4」にバッテリーの持続時間を延ばすLTPO TFTを採用

Appleが現地時間9月12日、米カリフォルニア州にあるアップルパーク(Apple Park)内スティーブ・ジョブズ・シアター(Steve Jobs Theatre)で、以前より大きくなった画面にヘルスケア機能を強化したApple Watch Series 4を発表した。

<Apple watch series 4 Source : Apple.com>

Appleは今回の発表で、Apple Watch Series 4にLTPOという新しい技術を導入することで、電力効率を向上させたと明かし、注目を浴びた 。

LTPOはLow Temperature Polycrystalline Oxideの略語で、電荷移動度が優れたpoly-Siと低電力駆動が容易なIGZOの利点だけを活かしたTFTの一種である。LTPO TFTは漏れ電流が少なく、オン・オフの特性が良いため、消費電力は下がり、バッテリーの持続時間は延びる。

<Apple의 LTPO 관련 특허>

また、AppleはApple Watch 4の本体サイズを40mmと44mmに拡大し、ベゼルを小さくすることで 前モデルに比べ、ディスプレイの表示エリアを35%と32%に広げており、画面解像度も44mmモデルは368×448ピクセル、40mmモデルは324×394ピクセルに増加したと説明した。Apple Watch 4のディスプレイはLG Display製のプラスチックOLEDで、最大輝度は1,000 nitである。

Apple Watch Series 4の価格は、GPSモデルは399米ドルから、セルラーモデルは499米ドルからとなる。予約注文は9月14日から受け付けを開始しており、発売は9月21日を予定している。

AUO、Touch Taiwan2017で、スマートウォッチ用丸型OLEDとフォルダブル(foldable)OLED展示

AUOは、20日に開催されたTouch Taiwan2017で、スマートウォッチ丸型OLED3種(1.2インチ、1.3インチ、1.4インチ)と折れるOLEDを公開した。

 

AUOの1.2インチと1.4インチ丸型OLEDは、326ppiを有し、既存の量産製品に比べ、消費電力を30%も減らした。また、AUOは、丸型OLED2種が明るい太陽光の下でもディスプレー画面が正確に見えるように、明るさ調節モード(brightness increase mode)を内蔵し、屋外視認性を向上させた。

 

子供用スマートウォッチをターゲットにした1.3インチOLEDは軽くて、節電モードと直観的なタッチインターフェースを搭載し、ユーザビリティを強化した。

 

AUOは、折ったり、くるくると丸めてつなぐ2つの形態の5インチフレキシブル( flexible)OLEDを展示した。5インチフレキシブルOLED2種には、プラスチック基板と内製で開発した構造(special structural layer)が適用された。

 

<AUO, 5インチフォルダブルOLEDタッチパネル>

 

折れる5インチフォルダブルOLEDには独自に開発した柔軟なタッチスクリーンセンサーが内蔵されている。AUOは、「折れる部分の曲率半径が4mm以下である場合にも、優れた画質を提供する。」と言った。

 

5インチローラブル(rollable)OLEDについて、AUOは、「パネルの厚さがわずか0.1mmで、重さは5gである。」と言いながら、「4mmのローリング(rolling)半径を持つこの製品は、広色域を提供する。」と説明した。

 

一方、SID2017でAUOは、フォールデイング時、引張や圧縮強度に耐えるように、 TFT(薄膜トランジスター 、thin film transistor)とTFE(薄膜封止、thin film encapsulation)を中立軸(neutral axis)に位置させる構造を適用したと発表したことがある。

サムスンギアS3 vsアップルウォッチ2の全面戦争

アップルが7日(現地時間)、iPhone 7と7プラスとアップルウォッチ2を公開し、先の 31日(現地時間)に公開されたサムスンのギアS3と全面戦争を繰り広げることになった。 ギアS3は発売日が未定だが、Appleウォッチ2との全面戦争を避けることができなくなった。

アップルウォッチ2は、水深50メートルまでの防水となる防水機能を強化し、GPSユニットが追加され、位置情報利用と運動追跡機能も強化された。 特に全世界的に突風を巻き起こしたナイアンティックの人気モバイルゲーム「ポケモンGO」アプリが基本搭載される。

ステンレス素材のアップルウォッチ、エルメスとの共同制作「アップルウォッチエルメス」、ナイキとの協力製品である「アップルウォッチナイキ 」など4種のアップルウォッチ2を発表した。

サムスンのギアS3は、GPSが搭載されて、高度、気圧、速度計に様々なレジャー活動や運動をする際に便利な機能が追加され、サムスンページも追加搭載されることによって、様々な利便性が増加された。 また、電池の消耗を最小限に抑え、主な内容を画面に表示する「常時オンディスプレイ(AOD)」も装備されて時計本来の機能に充実であることが可能になった。

また、伝統的な時計の感性を盛り込んだスタイリッシュなデザインと前作よりも強化された回転ベゼルの直感的なUIで視線を集めている。

両方のスマートウォッチともOLEDディスプレイを搭載し、1000 nits以上の最大値の明るさを実現して、明るい屋外でも様々な情報を鮮明な画面で確認できるように実装化した。 特にアップルウォッチ2は、前作の450 nitsの倍以上、ギア3も前作に比べ400nit以上の明るさを強化した。
現在のスマートウォッチ用AMOLEDパネルはサムスン電子のスマートウォッチ用flexible AMOLED panelは、サムスンディスプレイ単独で供給しており、アップルウォッチ2のflexible AMOLED panelは、サムスンディスプレイとLGディスプレーで供給すると言われている。

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一方、UBIリサーチによると、スマートウォッチ用AMOLEDパネル市場は、2020年まで年平均約14%成長し、1億台以上の市場を形成するものと見ている。

[CES Asis 2016] Huawei to Release 1.2“ AMOLED Smartwatch for Women… EDO Panel Applied

Huawei booth

Huawei booth

 

Shanghai = Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

Huawei is expected to release 1.2 inch AMOLED panel equipped smartwatch for women in September if early.

In CES Asia 2016 (11-13 May) held in Shanghai, China, Everdisplay (EDO) revealed that the 1.2 inch AMOLED panel product will be released in July, and Huawei will launch smartwatch for women equipped with this panel in September.

Previously Huawei released smartwatch for men equipped with EDO’s 1.4 inch AMOLED.

EDO, whose main focus is on AMOLED panel for mobile device, showed new AMOLED panels through this exhibition. EDO explained that of AMOLED panels for smartphone, 1.2 inch, 1.41 inch, and 1.4 inch panels are not yet released, and that 1.2 inch panel will be launched in July and 1.4 inch in 2017.

During this event, EDO also revealed 6 inch AMOLED panel to be mass produced in future and beta version of VR device equipped with their own AMOLED.

CES Asia 2016’s participants greatly increased compared to last year, and 375 companies from 23 countries are taking part. Major companies such as Intel, Twitter, and BMW discuss wearable, VR, driverless cars, future of TV, etc. though conference.

2016 Apple Watch Shipment to Fall by More than 25%…Watch Market, Below Expectations

Apple Watch(Source=Apple)

Apple Watch(Source=Apple)

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

With the trend of smartwatch market’s below expectation growth, some believe that this year’s Apple Watch shipment volume will decrease by 25% or more compared to last year.

On 19 April, international media such as OLED-a reported this citing KGI investment. KGI’s research estimates that 10,600,000 units of Apple Watch were sold in 2015, and forecast that much reduced 7,500,000 units or less will be sold this year. What is worse, last year’s sales volume is the total of 8 months sales, and this year’s forecast volume is for 12 months.

KGI suggested 2 reasons for this decrease.

First, this is because the wearable device market is still an immature one, formed not too long ago.

Second, the product itself still has many flaws. Also, of the wearable applications, there is a lack of killer application that pulls in consumers. Hardware also needs further improvements. Short battery lifetime and iPhone dependent functions are analyzed to be factors preventing the demand increase.

KGI forecasts the mass production of the next Apple Watch will begin in Q3 2016. Some estimates that the next product will be released before that in June this year. However, this product is more of an S model upgrade with few changes to the existing product. KGI estimated that the demand improvement will take place when 2017 product, the new product after this one is released.

Much like the not so optimistic forecast of Apple Watch, the smartwatch market growth is also not meeting the expectations. In 2016 Wearable Smart Device International Forum and Exhibition held in Seoul hosted by Korean Display Industry Association, IDTechEX’s analyst James Hayward explained that smartwatch market is growing at below expectations, and it is estimated that eye wear market, such as AR and VR, will have greater growth rather than watch.

 

[CES 2016] OLED Smartphone Territory Slowly Expands

OLED panel, mostly used for Samsung Electronics, is expanding its market and slowly entering China. In CES and IFA until now, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics only exhibited OLED panel equipped smartphone. However, this time, China’s dark horse Huawei exhibited Samsung Display’s OLED onto new smartphone model Nexus 6P.

 

화웨이1

화웨이2

 

The panel used is 5.7 inch 518 ppi FHD OLED.

 

According to Huawei, although until now LCD has been used as OLED can produce profound black it is estimated OLED will be highly popular in Chinese market.

 

Huawei is already using OLED on smartwatch. Huawei Watch Active that began to be exhibited starting with CES 2015 uses 1.4 inch 286 ppi OLED panel with 400 x 400 resolution supplied by AUO. The thickness of the watch is 4.2 mm and rather thick, but the external design is highly detailed and beautiful much like luxury analog watch.

 

화웨이3

 

As Huawei, which has the highest market share out of Chinese set companies, started to actively push for OLED panel use in smartphone following smartwatch, other Chinese companies, including Xiaomi, are expected to rapidly join the OLED sector.

How Can Small and Medium-Sized OLED Panel Companies Survive?

With the great increase of interest in flexible OLED from China and Taiwan’s small and medium-sized panel companies, diverse issues related to this are emerging.

 

Recent smartphone trend is moving from high resolution and specs toward diverse designs such as curved or bendable/foldable and flexible display that can differentiate applications. AMOLED flexible display is currently being applied to smartphone and smartwatch. However, only 2 companies, Samsung Display and LG Display, are supplying these high spec flexible AMOLED panel.

 

Small and medium-sized panel companies do not have the technology to mass produce high performance flexible AMOLED panel and cannot invest in mass production. For these reasons, Chinese and Taiwanese small and medium-sized companies are aiming for finding new applications where flexible PMOLED or low resolution flexible AMOLED can be applied and make mass production investment. Accordingly, set companies’ interest in flexible OLED applied application is also increasing.

 

Additionally, companies are in agreement that yield of flexible PMOLED that is applied to some smartbands does not meet demand. Taiwan’s wisechip and RiTdisplay, key PMOLED companies, are concentrating on developing flexible PMOLED and flexible OLED lighting. Taiwan’s AUO and Innolux, and China’s Visionox and EDO are also among those that are developing wearable flexible AMOLED.

 

Diverse application development where lower resolution flexible AMOLED, flexible PMOLED, or flexible OLED lighting, instead of expensive high-end smartphone and smartwatch, can be applied is essential. The outcome of this is forecast to greatly affect the growth of small and medium-sized OLED panel companies.

[MWC2015] Smart Watch Market, Struggle Expected in Google OS Sector

In MWC2015, various companies, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Huawei, and Asus, exhibited smart watch. Since 2014, Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. began to sell smart watch, Asus and Huawei are shipping smart watch equipped with rigid AMOLED panel. Apple, a latecomer but also strongest rival, is planning to actively sell smart watch, with LG Display’s plastic OLED, from April.

From the outside, all 5 companies have smart watch with AMOLED, but other than Apple which uses iOS, and Samsung Elec. that uses Tizen, the insides of the other 3 companies are the same. This is because they use Google OS. Hence the software of these 3 companies’ products are similar, and without the smart watch exterior the functions are almost identical. The only differentiations are due to smart watch design. Huawei’s smart watch face design is similar to LG Elec.’s, and the back design practically cannot be distinguished from LG Elec.’s products. 150305_[MWC2015] smart watch 시장, 구글 OS 진영 혼전 예상1150305_[MWC2015] smart watch 시장, 구글 OS 진영 혼전 예상

<LG Elec. Smart Watch (left), Huawei Smart Watch (right)>

150305_[MWC2015] smart watch 시장, 구글 OS 진영 혼전 예상2 150305_[MWC2015] smart watch 시장, 구글 OS 진영 혼전 예상3

 <LG Elec. Battery Charger (left), Huawei Battery Charger (right)>

In MWC2015, Google sector showed how difficult it would be for any company to conquer the market.

[MWC2015] Smart Watch Trend, LG Electronics is On It

The rapidly rising product to become the key item for IoT industry is a wearable device, smart watch. Various companies are already producing numerous products for the smart watch market. Beginning with smart band, the majority of smart watches had square face, but since LG Electronics joined this market, the trend started to change into a classic watch design.

In 2014, LG Elec. revealed G Watch in various events and became involved in its sales. Following the existing watch, they employed high-end sports watch design. While many experts estimated smart device with differentiated design from existing watches would become popular, the actual market responded to a round faced watch design, more familiar to the public after more than 100 years of use.

Subsequent to G Watch, LG Elec. revealed LG Watch Urbane in MWC2015. Compared to G Watch, Urbane arrived with higher class appearance.

Chinese set company Huawei introduced a smart watch with round shaped AMOLED in MWC2015, reacting to the success of G Watch. Samsung Elec. is also expected to release circular faced device for the next smart watch.

150303_[MWC2015]Smart Watch Trend, LG Electronics is On It<Urbane, LG Electronics>


150303_[MWC2015]Smart Watch Trend, LG Electronics is On It1<Huawei watch, Huawei>

Skyrocketing interest of Panel makers in blooming smart watch market

Set makers are launching various smart watch products such as Galaxy Gear and Gear Fit by Samsung and G-Watch by LG after the smart watch by Sony. With this, display companies accelerate development and mass-production of panels for the smart watch.

At present, OLED, LCD and e-paper are the panels applied to the smart watch. Also the flexible OLED is preferred for the wearable smart watch. Samsung Display is currently mass-producing the flexible panel for the smart watch, and LG Display will also start to manufacture them in the latter half of this year. Futaba of Japan has completed the development of PMOLED for the smart watch panel, and AUO introduced an ultra-thin OLED panel showing its at SID 2014 will to enter the panel market for the smart watch.

Shipments for the world’s smart watch market in 2014 are expected to 7 million but Apple Inc., aims to sell 9 million products in 2014. Thus, the smart watch market is a business with high potential to grow explosively and is where fierce technology competition will be between the panel makers.

140630_Smart watch 시장 본격화, panel maker들 관심 급상승

<AUO’s 1.63” ultra-thin panel for smart watch, SID 2014>