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국내 디스플레이 업체 애플 iTV용 샘플 패널 개발

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : April 6, 2014 - 16:27

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6일 업계에 따르면 국내 한 디스플레이 업체가 애플 iTV를 위한 샘플 패널을 개발 중이며, 올해 하반기에 출시될 것으로 알려진 애플 iTV는 내년에 양산 될 전망이다. 

IBK증권의 이승우 연구원에 따르면, 현재 이 업체는 애플 iTV용 65인치 OLED 패널을 제작 중이며, 해당 패널은 테스트용으로 채택 여부는 확실하지 않다고 전했다.

익명을 요구한 다른 업계 관계자는 “애플 iTV는 올해 하반기 65인치, 77인치 LCD 패널로 2백만 대를 생산할 계획이었지만, 지난 10월 애플이 해당 업체에 방문해서 양산계획을 내년으로 연기했다”고 전했다. 

지연된 이유에 대해 애플 TV의 콘텐츠 수급뿐만 아니라, 애플이 OLED 패널 생산을 고려하고 있기 때문이라고 전했다.

“재팬 디스플레이와 샤프의 OLED TV 양산 능력이 아직 부족해서, 국내 업체가 수급하게 될 것”이라고 이 관계자는 밝혔다.
 
신한투자증권의 소현철 연구원은 “현재까지는 OLED TV의 수율이 높지 않지만, 기술이 완성되면 화질과 커브드 측면에서 가장 좋은 패널이 될 것”이라고 말했다. 

스마트폰 시장이 포화되면서 애플은 TV사업에서 새로운 수익원 창출을 기대하고 있는 실정이다. 

팀 쿡 애플 최고경영자는 지난 달 주주총회에서 “작년 애플TV는 10억 달러의 수익을 가져왔다”고 밝히며 자사 임원들이 농담 삼아 애플TV를 애플사의 ‘취미’고 불러온 점을 언급하며 “더 이상 취미라고 부르기가 어려워질만큼 규모가 커졌다”고 말한 것으로 전해진다. 

또한 애플은 현재 미국 케이블 회사 컴캐스트와 TV 스트리밍 서비스를 제공하는 방안을 놓고 협상을 진행중으로 알려졌다.


(코리아헤럴드 신지혜 기자 shinjh@heraldcorp.com)



<관련 영문 기사>

Korean display maker develops sample panels for Apple iTV

An unnamed local display maker is reportedly making sample display panels for Apple’s iTV, which is expected be mass-produced next year, industry sources said this week.

“The company is making 65-inch organic light-emitting diode sample panels for Apple’s iTV,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Seoul-based IBK Securities.

“However, it is not certain whether Apple will use it for the mass production of its long-rumored iTV as it is still running tests,” he added.

Speculation has been mounting that Apple‘s iTVs will be rolled out this year following numerous delays. However, multiple sources say that the plan has once again been deferred to 2015.

“Around 2 million Apple‘s iTVs with 65- and 77-inch liquid crystal displays were expected to hit the market in the second half of this year. However, Apple employees visited this local company in October 2013 to delay the plans to next year,” said a source close to the matter on Saturday. “Following the visit, the display maker’s stock prices plunged,” he added.

The delay is reportedly due to Apple’s attempt to shift LCD panels to OLED apart from the shortage of content supply.

If Apple chooses OLED panels for its TV, this local manufacturer will become the first vendor, the sources said. Other display makers such as Japan Display and Sharp -- which are also reportedly suppliers of Apple’s iPhone 6 -– are not yet capable to mass-produce OLED panels for television sets.

“Though the yield rate of OLED panels is still not high for mass production, they are considered to be the best panels for TVs because of its high definition and the potential of curvedness,” said John Seo, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

Apple has been eyeing its television business as a new profit source. Apple TV reportedly generated $1 billion last year and it has high potential to grow further thanks to iTunes’ abundant music, movie and television content.

Addressing the labels slapped on Apple TV as being a “hobby” for the Cupertino-based iPhone maker, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said during the company‘s shareholders’ meeting last month, “That hobby was over a billion dollars of revenue last year. It’s a little hard to call it a hobby anymore.”

The company is also in talks with the U.S. cable giant Comcast about offering a streaming TV service, although the talks are reportedly still in an early stage.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)