Apple CEO Tim Cook likes to talk about his company’s plans for Apple TV as “pulling the string to see where it leads them.” It seems it may have led them to hire an expert in flat panel televisions.
In a report this week, industry group the OLED Association noted that Apple had hired away James (Jueng-jil) Lee from LG Display. At LG he was a research fellow working on creating a printed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) based television. And perhaps more importantly, he’s an expert in LCD production: before he was at LG he started new LCD product lines at Samsung and was heavily involved in their LCD research efforts.
Lee is “no doubt more knowledgeable about OLEDs that any of Apple’s current staff, which is known to be quite strong,” according to the OLED Association.
Apple has refused to give any information about whether it’s getting into the television market. Cook has said several times that TV is “a market that’s been left behind” and for Apple is “an area of intense interest,” but that’s as far as he’ll go. Hiring an expert in getting a new display line up and going definitely seems more like action than mere “interest.”