Over the past few months, there have been several reports claiming that Apple will switch to OLED displays with its 2017 flagship iPhone 7S. Now fresh reports from the Korea Herald and Chinese edition of the Wall Street Journal have lent credibility to the rumors. According to reports, Apple has signed a deal with Samsung for the supply of 100 million units of 5.5-inch OLED displays over three years starting 2017.
Only iPhone 7S Plus to get OLED screen
Neither report mentions anything about Samsung providing OLED screens for the 4.7-inch model. It means only the larger iPhone 7S Plus would get the OLED screen, while its smaller sibling will stick to LCD. The report fits with Apple’s plan to distance the larger model away from the smaller variant by adding higher-end specs. For instance, this year’s iPhone 7 Plus is rumored to sport a dual-camera system.
A report earlier this year claimed that Samsung was likely to be the sole supplier of flexible OLED displays to Apple. It is still unclear whether Apple has approached LG Electronics to produce OLED screens as a fallback. The Wall Street Journal said the deal is worth $2.59 billion. There is no confirmation whether Apple will use OLED panels in the potential successor to the smaller iPhone SE.
Samsung to set up new production lines for Apple
The Korea Herald said Samsung would set up separate production lines to manufacture OLED screens for Apple’s 2017 smartphone. The new production facility will become operational by the second quarter of 2017. The facility will be located within Samsung’s A3 plant in Asan, South Chungcheung province. Neither Apple nor Samsung confirmed the deal.
Apple Watch boasts of an OLED screen. Visually, OLED displays offer richer and more vibrant colors, besides delivering increased brightness and enhanced contrast. Moreover, OLED panels are slimmer than LCD screens that Apple uses in its current flagship. OLED screens also have certain drawbacks as their color saturation become muted over time. Apple has setup a secret lab in Taiwan to work around these limitations and develop an OLED display worth incorporating in the iPhone 7S Plus.