With the mobile world steadying itself for what could be a tumultuous few months ahead, the rumor mill is beginning to turn its attention to what the future may hold in the form of the Apple iPhone 9. As such, it is believed that the U.S.-based tech giant is looking to solidify its partnership with the South Korean firm LG Innotek. Here is everything you need to know.

Apple iPhone 9
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Apple iPhone 9 PCBs

With the iPhone 7 Plus still the flagship Apple handset and no confirmation as to the existence of the iPhone 8, you may think it crazy for the rumor mill to even speculate about the Apple iPhone 9. However, as technology is always changing, it’s a given that the Cupertino-based outfit is planning for the future. So when AppleInsider recently published reports about PCBs and LG Innotek, for many, it came as no surprise.

What does this mean for Apple?

Apparently, LG Innotek is in the process of setting up production facilities for advanced PCBs, known as FPCBs or flexible printed circuit boards. It’s being suggested that these plants will be ready to start production at some point in 2018. This partnership, which includes the supply of OLED panels, means that LG Innotek is now one of Apple’s primary suppliers.

If you’re not familiar with flexible printed circuit boards and what they could offer, think of the LG Flex or the LG Flex 2. These smartphones with their gorgeous curves both contained them. As such, they were and still are the only handsets that could slightly bend under some force and remain usable. So what does this mean for the Apple iPhone 9?

Right now, Samsung has the lead on Apple when it comes to the use of OLED panels in smartphones. The South Korean giant already uses FPCBs in its handsets; they allow a device to cope with the inherent flexibility of OLED technology. In line with this, rumors of Apple purchasing OLED panels from Samsung for the iPhone 8 have been rife. So it seems as though, at least for the Apple iPhone 9, the company prefers to work with another manufacturer, one it does not consider to be a rival in the smartphone market.

Curved and flexible Apple iPhone 9?

With official details on what Apple has planned for this year’s iPhone remaining thin, you can understand why when it comes to next year’s model, there is virtually nothing to go on. As such, this FPCB story really has caught the imagination of those who know a little about it. If it is true, it could mean that, while the iPhone 8 has a slightly curved 2.5D display, the Apple iPhone 9 may be an entirely different kettle of fish offering a degree of flexibility not yet seen in a smartphone display.

Sources close to Apple’s supply chain suggested there will be two screen sizes: 5.28 inches and 6.46 inches. Both will apparently be 5G data compatible. Further information on this is unavailable; however, we will endeavor to find out more. When we do, you will be updated.

In the meantime, what do you hope the Apple iPhone 9 can provide? Is flexibility a priority?