Steve Jobs’ Failure To See Light In OLED Could Cost Apple


Steve Jobs  was a hero to me and many, but he was not infallible.

Steve Jobs successfully saw around the corner regarding many technologies, but he made a blunder regarding OLEDs.

What the heck is an OLED?   Most people know that LEDs are light emitting diodes.   LEDs are semiconductor light sources that are made of silicon.

OLED stands for organic light emitting diode, and unlike an ordinary LED there is no silicon in an OLED.   OLEDs use organic compounds which emit light when excited by an electric current.

Ordinary LEDs were introduced in 1962.   The work that forms the basis of OLEDs was done in 1960, but widespread commercial applications of OLED technology have come to fruition only within the last year.   DuPont (DD) has played a key role in the development of OLED technology.

Apple  (AAPL), has succeeded in part by bringing next generation technologies to the masses in a simple elegant way.   Displays are a big part of most Apple products.   No one can argue that to maintain its leadership status, Apple needs to maintain leadership in display technology.   Unfortunately for Apple, Steve Jobs appears to have made the wrong judgment about OLED technology.   Jobs had good reasons not to favor OLEDs.

Traditionally it has been difficult to mass produce OLEDs.   Further OLEDs structures are inherently unstable.   OLEDs were also limited by the life span of organic materials that transferred light.   For example historically materials used in blue OLEDs had a life span of 14,000 hours to half original brightness, compared to 40,000 hours for traditional LEDs.


Traditional OLEDs also suffered from color balance deficiencies…Read More at Forbes  



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