Apple Orders Sample 65-inch Displays Sparking TV Set Rumors (Again)

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The Apple Crystal BallApple has ordered “sample display panels” from a Korean display maker, according to a Korean analyst. Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Seoul-based IBK Securities, told The Korean Herald that Apple has ordered samples and was working with a local company to produce them, but from there the story gets fuzzy, to be generous.

“The company is making 65-inch organic light-emitting diode sample panels for Apple’s iTV in collaboration with Apple,” Mr. Lee said. “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."

This of course leads to questions about what Apple would want with a small run of 65-inch OLED displays. Since it’s not likely Apple is creating gigantic Thunderbolt Displays, the discussion turns (once again) to an Apple television.

On one hand, Apple orders/creates/patents all kinds of things that never see the light of day. On the other hand, there’s rampant speculation about a product that some people have tried for years to wish into being.

The Korean Herald article doesn’t name the display company (strike one), says the televisions were going to be released this year but got delayed (strike two), and is quoting an analyst who generally cheers Samsung (strike three). I looked him up and couldn’t find anyplace else he’d said anything about Apple except when he discussed Samsung outperforming them in some way.

There may well be something to be said for Apple making a television set. After all, at least one person has been saying it since 2011. But there are a variety of reasons Apple could have ordered these screens and called them “samples.”

Possibly for retail locations, or updating conference rooms with nicer screens on company campuses, or for fun because when you have something like eleventy eight basquillion dollars in the bank, you can do things like order a batch of panels using new neato display tech like OLED and laugh at the bill.

OLED is different from LED screens (like Thunderbolt displays) because it doesn’t require a backlight, and in lower light situations can look nicer because it has a better contrast ratio. No backlight also means the display itself can be thinner and lighter.

I did a quick Google search for OLED TV sets and found a 55 inch LG model for about US$6,000, so however many of these were ordered, they certainly weren’t cheap.

Just because Apple has ordered these displays doesn’t mean they’re making televisions now, just like building MacBook Airs with cellular capability or other sizes of iPads don't necessarily mean those things will make it out the door.

We’ve heard in the past about the iterations a product must go through before it’s allowed out in public, and I expect if the day comes when Apple builds an Apple Television (not to be confused with Macintosh TV), it will have been through a number of versions before the one Tim Cook unveils at an Apple event. Refinement is one of the things that Apple does better than virtually anyone, which is why iPods and later iPhones are devices people want to use.

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Comments

geoduck

Nope, it’s for the next gen iMac.
However imagine if it were a touch screen. It would be an iPad from hell

Lee Dronick

  Possibly for retail locations, or updating conference rooms with nicer screens on company campuses,

My guess is both of those, or last the retail stores. If a new Apple TV box is coming out then they will want to demonstrate on a good screen.

Kelly Guimont

@geoduck, you know that those screens are over five feet diagonally, right? What kind of desk do you need for a computer that size? smile

Kelly Guimont

@Lee Dronick: Hand in hand with a new Apple TV? That had not occurred to us, Dude.* I think Apple would want beautiful displays as a general rule, so I never thought about it in conjunction with Apple TV or anything else really. Very interesting idea!

*Bonus points for those who get this reference.

Lee Dronick

The other thing is it might be in large part to create chatter among the chattering class. Now just about every tech and wall street reporter and blogger will be talking about the new mega sized Apple television that will be announced at the Developer’s Conference. Free publicity, or almost free.

Lee Dronick

  @geoduck, you know that those screens are over five feet diagonally, right? What kind of desk do you need for a computer that size? smile

The first time that I had a chance to try out the MicroSoft Surface, the old surface that was like a small table, I wanted to finger paint on it. Alas they had no app for that, at least not back then.

Lee Dronick

This would be fun on a real potters wheel, but with software it could probably be done on a big touch screen.

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/mikhail-sadovnikov-potters-wheel-patterns

d'monder

For use in the new HQ building?

Or to drive the rumor mill crazy, just because they can? smile

Paul Goodwin

I agree that outfitting their new building large conference rooms, their training facilities etc. is a likely scenario; much more likely than Apple getting into the cutthroat TV business.

Rable Sunny

No matter it is a rumour or not,it definitely shows that large multi-touch screen is a trend in this market.If you don’t want to wait for apple for its large touch screen,check this product here,which is beyond your imagination:http://tabler.tv/s/65-inch-touch-screen-tv

Lee Dronick

Suppose that the new Apple TV isn’t a distinct box at all, suppose that it is an iPad or iPhone. You plug a dongle into a HDMI port on a television and control it with an iOS device via Bluetooth or something. The big displays are in Apple Retail Stores to show off “Your iPhone is your cable box”

Just a thought.

anovelli

Rable that appears to be a multitouch overlay for flatscreen monitors? Sorry, my imagination goes a bit further. Touchscreen monitors have limited appeal and usefulness, IMO. I’m really only writing for the extra points in the “Dude” reference though… you gotta bet The Dude would want one of these, if he could ever remember to actually order it.

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