Is the world ready for an AMOLED tablet?

It's not the price of AMOLED displays that'll kill you, it's the availability. A director of the OLED association throws ice water on the AMOLED Apple tablet rumors making the rounds.

The buzz around Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) displays from the just-ended Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) is starting to leech into vortex of rumors that are swirling in anticipation of the Apple tablet. The stories morphed into the oft-reported 10" OLED Apple tablet rumor.

Chris Foresman makes the case for Ars Technica that Apple won't use AM/OLED panels in its upcoming tablet computer because they're not available in enough quantity. Barry Young, Managing Director of the OLED Association, spoke to Ars about the state of OLED as it relates to the recent spate of Apple tablet rumors.

Young said that "there's no real production of 10.1-inch panels" and that "AMOLED displays in volume are only available from Samsung SMD," adding that "LG has 10 to 15 percent of Samsung's capacity." He went on to say that "there's no real production of 10.1-inch panels" for anyone to hoard and "the best case is that if Apple announces an AMOLED with a 10.1-inch [display], it would have much higher price and have very low volumes."

It looks like Apple may have to use LCD-based panels in its tablet to keep the price-point affordable enough for consumers to justify. As a tablet's price creeps above the psychological price barrier of $1000 it becomes harder and harder to rationalize -- especially with the large amount of overlapping features it will undoubtedly share with the iPhone and MacBook.

I wouldn't count the AMOLED tablet completely out yet though, Apple could easily release a higher-end model with a much higher price tag. And I predict that sales of the AMOLED version (even if it's north of $1200) will outstrip supply. I don't know about you, but I'm probably going to buck up for the AMOLED version, just for battery life alone.

Update: ZDNet's own Jason Perlow also made the case as to why we won't see an AMOLED tablet from Apple last week.

What about you? How much will you pay for an Apple tablet?

Tip and Photo: Ars Technica


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