The latest rumors regarding the iPhone 8, a phone that may or may not be called that and won’t be available for years, say Samsung Display will partner with Apple to provide its OLED screens.
iPhone 8 with OLED display is coming to a store near you in 2018/2019
Please keep in mind that rumors are simply rumors and my good name will not create new ones of my own, but for our purposes I’m happy to tell you what others are saying.
Despite the fact that one of Apple’s biggest competitors in high-end smartphones is Samsung, Apple is more than happy to purchase its displays from the conglomerate Samsung Display. Yes, Samsung and Apple have been bitterly locked up in patent disputes for years, but money is money and these two have no trouble putting revenues before acrimonious legal battles going forward.
Apple has a long supply chain and this already includes Samsung Display. According to a recent report from South Korea’s Electronic Times, a deal has been all but finalized between the two companies in which Samsung Display will, when told, begin the bulk manufacture of OLED screens when Apple determines that that is indeed the route to go. There is somewhere between little and no danger of seeing an OLED display anywhere near the next iteration of the iPhone, presumably named the iPhone 7. Rather, Samsung Display will be providing OLED displays for the iPhone 8 at the earliest. A phone that still lies well into the future, likely no less than two-and-a-half years away.
The report is suggesting that Apple is anxious to see Samsung get its plants equipped and ready for the iPhone 8 scree to go into full production when Apple sends the go code. It’s rumored that Samsung is prepared to spend over 9 trillion won, or roughly $7.5 billion for this retooling. This investment would be foolhardy if Samsung doesn’t already have a contract in hand with Apple. According to the report, the plants are meant to begin produce somewhere between 30,000 and 45,000 OLED display sheets per month once up and running. However, the report says that Apple will need the plants to ramp up their production by another 45,0000 units per month sometime in 2017. While not a done deal, according to the report it’s as good as finished. What’s up with OLED?
OLED, or organic light-emitting diodes, functions by putting electricity directly through certain materials that glow red, green and blue. It is largely viewed as the future in creating displays with color that is considerably more vibrant than either LCD or Plasma screens. The way OLED displays work allow for thinner and more flexible displays which would save Apple valuable real estate in its iconic smartphones. Presently, Apple is using LCD screens in its newest models, both the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. In addition to being thicker, LCD screens need to be backlit.
Again, this is all speculation. Rumors from last month and even before that have named LG Display and Japan Display as potential suppliers for future iPhone screens. LG put on quite the show recently at CES when they displayed a number of revolutionary OLED displays including one that could be rolled up like a newspaper as well as a number of incredibly clear 70-inch plus displays.
Japan Display has been rumored to have already begun retooling one of its LCD plants to see if it can’t handle the production of OLED display screens.
Additional news pieces in recent months, including one written by yours truly, have Apple staffing a “secret” display R&D facility just north of Taiwan to potentially produce their own displays.
We will let you know in 2018(?) when Tim Cook(?) announces the iPhone 8?