In a recent patent application uncovered by AppleInsider, Apple is investigating the use of power-efficient organic light-emitting diode displays for its mobile devices, a technology that could help improve the battery life of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.
Apple is banking on OLED's light emissive approach, which has lower power constraints than LED's light transmissive technology, currently used in iPhones and iPads.
In short, when OLED displays need to show white, it uses a ton of power to do so. As AppleInsider notes, the darks are darker, the contrast ratio is better, and the power efficiency is outstanding--save for when white is the dominating color on screen.
According to AppleInsider, "Apple's proposed solution to this problem would include a transparent OLED display panel positioned in front of a solid white background layer, like a white transflective sheet. The display would also feature an opacity switchable layer located between the OLED panel and the background layer."
Basically if the display needs to be mostly white, the OLED display gives way to the background layer and the battery is saved from having to generate a typical OLED white color.
The mobile technology industry largely relies on battery technology to drive its products. Thus, any advancement in that area could mean a huge competitive advantage. Apple has always been at the forefront of battery and power efficiency technology, so it's no surprise to see it applying for patents to protect its research.
Given this patent application, when do you think Apple will produce an OLED screen? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!