For years, there have been rumors that Apple would incorporate OLED screens instead of the traditional LCD panels in its future iPhone models. But the switch from LCD to OLED is not going to happen anytime soon. In fact, the 2018 iPhone 8 (or whatever Apple chooses to call it) may be the first iPhone to get an OLED display. Citing unnamed sources, South Korean publication ET News says Apple is close to signing deals with LG Display and Samsung Display for the supply of OLED screens.
LG’s new production plant to be ready in time for iPhone 8
The organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens are thinner and provide better picture quality compared to LCD screens. Also, they are more energy efficient than LCD panels. Last month, Japanese publication Nikkei reported that Apple would start using OLED displays for iPhones in 2018. Going by the Cupertino company’s release cycle, it would launch the iPhone 8 in 2018.
Apple already uses OLED screens for its Apple Watch line. Sources told ET News that LG Display and Samsung Display plan to spend a total of $12.8 billion to increase their OLED production capabilities in 2-3 years. Apple is also expected to provide some funding to both companies to help with the massive capital expenditure. Earlier this year, LG said its new large OLED manufacturing plant will begin mass production in early 2018, providing sufficient runway to the iPhone 8 production.
Apple confident of addressing OLED drawbacks
A few weeks ago, reports surfaced that Apple had a secret lab in Taiwan where scientists are developing new display technologies that are not only thinner and lighter, but also energy efficient. However, OLED displays still have a few drawbacks. Currently, they are much more expensive to manufacture than LCD panels. Another issue is that color saturation on OLED displays is known to dull over time.
The iPhone maker’s deal with Samsung and LG suggests that the Cupertino company is confident of addressing the drawbacks in the next couple of years. Samsung Display already supplies OLED screens to its parent company Samsung Electronics as well as many Chinese vendors. Sources told ET News that Samsung Display would receive a bigger order from Apple than LG Display.