Update: Apple appears to have removed the job listing, but we grabbed a screenshot above and below.
We know that Apple has been investigating various methods of incorporating flexible displays in its mobile devices thanks to a handful of patents and patent applications published over the last year. Flexible display rumors have picked up steam even more since rumors of an iWatch from Apple, and just today we came across two new Apple patent applications detailing flexible devices that could change states as a user bends or twists the device. We all know Apple patent applications have never been a good indication of future product releases, but now Apple has came right out and stated in a job listing that it is indeed considering flexible displays.
Apple Inc. is looking for a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance.
The job listing seeking a Sr. Optical Engineer was posted earlier this month and looks for a display expert to investigate “high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display.” Specifically, Apple is requesting someone to “Analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility,” hinting that the company is considering introducing new, advanced display technology in the future:
- -Hands-on experience and proven track of record in design, development and technical investigation of display technologies.
- -In-depth understanding of display technology, particularly LCD & OLED design & optical performance trade-offs, including optical design, viewing angle, color and white point management, gamma and dimming control, visual performance and artifacts; and characterization metrics.
Samsung has been showing off its flexible display tech for a number of years but the technology has yet to hit a mainstream consumer product. Others, such as Sharp and LG are also prototyping flexible displays, and just last January at CES we got a look at 3.4″ flexible OLED from Sharp that shows the technology is getting real close. However, recent reports from this month said LG is aiming to ship the first flexible displays later this year ahead of Samsung.
Corning, the company that currently supplies the glass for Apple’s iOS devices, last year announced its ultra-slim, flexible glass called Willow Glass would be going into production soon, but later reports indicated it could be three years before it’s ready for companies start using Willow for flexible displays.
Today’s job listing is definitely the first bit of solid proof directly from Apple that it is looking into developing devices with flexible displays.