There is speculation today that the hire of OLED expert James(Jueng-Gil) Lee by Apple shows the company is serious about developing its own TV. A real Apple TV with a screen is the rumor that never dies - analysts have predicted for some time that we will see one. Moreover the supply chain has hinted that one will eventually arrive as well.
The question worth asking is exactly how far along Apple is if this gentleman was just hired. A brief scan of his Linked In profile below gives you an idea of what he is capable of and has done.
1. Expertise in OLED technology development for 11 years
•Seasoned technical executive with hands on and in depth knowledge of OLED, LCD, FED and semiconductor technologies (22 years)
2. Executive technical sales & marketing experience for OLED technology commercialization through collaboration of major Japan and Korea consumer electronic giants.
3. Expertise in developing profitable partnership and forging global strategic alliance.
4. Well connected with major OLED Display/Equipment/Material Corporations
•Excellent Human Relationship
5. Multiple language skills as well as capability of working in blended cultures of Asia, Europe, US
•The ability of living abroad and travel extensively
•English, Japanese and Korean are all in professional level of speaking, writing and reading
6. Disciplined and Attentive project manager with set goals, time frame and budget requirement
•Continuously developing the Soluble Technology(RGB Type) for OLED TV application at LG Display
•Successfully started the first three generations LCD production lines at Samsung Electronics and showed track of records in yield improvement, productivity improvement, manufacturing cost reduction and new technology transfer into production line
7. Serving as R&D head for LCD technology development at Samsung Electronics
•Expertise in coaching and executing new technology development for LCD manufacturing line
He is not only able to design OLED TVs but he seems to be a supply chain guru as well having worked for numerous manufacturers in this capacity. Would a person with these credentials join Apple to bring his expertise to existing tablets and PC displays or is this move more proof Apple is working on a TV? I vote the latter but if he is involved in the process of developing a new television set can we expect it by this Christmas?
This is the question consumers, shareholders and analysts will be asking as a result of this news. We will likely need more data points before we can be sure a Cupertino designed TV is on its way.
See my mention of OLED TV’s from LG from CES2013