iPhone AMOLED Screens to Bring Back Apple II-style Green on Black?


Marco Arment has a fun post up today about designing for AMOLED (active matrix light emitting diode) screens, currently used for Google's Nexus One, and something many hope Apple adopts for the 4th generation iPhone and -- even though cost and supply prohibitive -- the upcoming iTablet/iSlate/iPad as well.

Most significantly with OLEDs, power consumption is greatly reduced when displaying black or very dim colors, so a dark layout option is even more beneficial than with LCDs.

Another consideration is that the blue subpixels have the shortest lifespans, a problem that has always plagued OLEDs and is one of the biggest reasons they’re still rarely used.

Armant's tongue-in-cheek solution? To go old school, Apple II ancient CRT-style green on black. Not that we're not nostalgic (I rocked that green screen for many years on my Apple II), but here's hoping AMOLED technology gets better with blues and quick.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Updated: Flurry Analytics Show iTablet Running... iPhone 3.2?!

Next up →

Politics and Practicality the Reason for no Flash Player on iPhone... and iTablet?

Reader comments

iPhone AMOLED Screens to Bring Back Apple II-style Green on Black?


@pwner You win nothing. Good job.
This still blows my mind why everyone wants a push towards OLED for the next wave of technology when it hasn't nearly been perfected yet. I understand the benefits of an OLED screen (which can be really awesome) but why can't we please perfect something before pushing it mainstream?!
Also, I cannot - in any way, shape, or form - see Apple going to a nostalgic look with the green/black combo. Do you truly think they would do this? Definitely not.

Bsmith I'm with you on the OLED...
And can I point out how much we all ragged on the droid for it's OLED because you can't see it in the sun

@BSmith because other companies use new technologies just to say "look at what we're doing! It's so cutting edge" and they don't think about the consumer experience.. Apple always waits until something is at least good enough before it puts the parts in its hardware.
As for the sd-card slot though, I can't explain why it's taken apple so damn long to put those in its products...

I agree, OLED is not ready for an outdoor device. It's true that OLED reduces power consumption. So does not being able to use your phone outside.

You guys are acting like it's impossible to see an OLED outside. It's harder, but not impossible. IMHO no different then my iPhone.

In my opinion, the way Android is themed - mostly black - to suit OLED screens makes it look quite horrible.

Droid has a LCD TFT. AMOLED even not "perfected" is superior in most ways to lcd displays. I just want the best display available whether perfect or not. If the iPhone 4G isn't AMOLED I'll probably go with one of the Amdroid phones on a better network than AT&T.