By Jim Karpen on Tue, 02/25/2014
The big question for the iPhone 6 is what Apple will do to make it stand out from the competition. Just having a 4.7-inch display won't cut it, given that there's already a plethora of larger-display smartphones on the market. Certainly the rumored use of sapphire crystal would distinguish it from the crowd, since the display would be nearly indestructible. And if Apple goes with a bezel-free design, that would be a major innovation, giving you a larger display but keeping the overall size of the phone as small as possible. And now we have yet another rumor: according to an article on Forbes, there's a possibility that Apple will use Quantum Dot technology in the display — which would certainly be a major innovation. The virtue of this technology is that it can more accurately render colors.
The Forbes article says that the Kindle Fire HDX 7 uses Quantum Dot technology, but had to narrow the color gamut in order to accommodate the technology. Apple, however, has apparently figured out how to take advantage of the accuracy inherent in this technology while also having a wider color gamut. Apple has a number of patents related to Quantum Dot that build on the existing patents by the company that developed it, Nanosys. And the fact that Apple's patents have now been published means Apple has been working on Quantum Dot for at least a couple years, suggesting that the techonlogy might now be mature enough for implementation.
Nanosys confirmed to Forbes that the technology is ready, and that it would be used in a smartphone that will be released this year. Of course, they wouldn't say whether that smartphone was the iPhone.
Given Apple's patents and the potential of Quantum Dot technology, many feel that it's inevitable that it will be eventually used in iOS devices. The question is when. The general thinking had been that it wouldn't be ready for the iPhone 6, but Forbes is suggesting it could be.
Apple is always forging ahead, and it would indeed be exciting if they were to integrate sapphire crystal, a bezel-free design, and Quantum Dot. Of course, much of this is rumor and speculation. But one can hope.