The next year’s iPhone 8 is widely rumored to look like a “single sheet of glass” and switch from LCD to OLED display panels. A new report coming out of Asia claims that Apple’s biggest supplier Foxconn is developing glass casings and OLED panels to secure orders for the 2017 iPhone. Supply chain sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei that Foxconn has been working on the glass chassis since last year.
Samsung likely to supply OLED screens for iPhone 8
The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer is also developing advanced OLED technologies following its acquisition of Japanese firm Sharp earlier this year. However, media reports suggest that Samsung would be the main supplier of OLED panels and China’s Biel Crystal and Lens Technology will be supplying glass casings for the iPhone 8. In April, Apple reportedly signed a $2.59 billion deal with Samsung for the supply of 100 million OLED displays.
Foxconn may have to compete with Samsung and Bien Crystal to secure orders. It’s also possible that the Foxconn could be the second supplier of glass casings and OLED panels. In the past, Apple has diversified its supplier base in order to reduce its reliance on any one company. Samsung already uses OLED screens in its flagship smartphones and phablets.
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Only one iPhone 8 model to have a glass chassis
A switch from LCD to OLED display will give the iPhone 8 a sleeker look and a more energy-efficient display. Though OLED panels are more expensive to produce than LCD displays, they are slimmer, brighter and more energy-efficient. Earlier this year, Catcher Technology chairman Allen Horng said only one of the two 2017 iPhones would use a glass chassis.
The 2017 iPhone is said to introduce a new design to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Though the device is still roughly a year away, rumors suggest that it could sport long-distance wireless charging and IP68 waterproofing capabilities. This year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are said to have the same design as last year’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, though there will be some improvements like a dual-camera and a Smart Connector on the Plus version.