For the past several years, Apple has been using LCD screens in its iPhones. Recently, there have been rumors that the Cupertino company is planning to switch to OLED displays for the next-gen iPhone 8 as part of a major design overhaul. Analysts who studied Apple’s latest 10-K filing have found that Apple is going to buy OLED displays in large quantities.
Apple all set to switch from LCD to OLED with iPhone 8
JPMorgan analysts said in a research note (via Apple Insider) that Apple has placed multi-billion dollar purchase orders for OLED displays. The orders extend over one year in duration. Though Samsung Display is said to be the largest beneficiary, other companies such as Japan Display and Sharp have also been investing heavily to ramp up OLED display production.
Analysts found that Apple had placed purchase orders worth at least $4 billion. The third-quarter 10-K filing has “off-balance sheet obligation” for the same amount. JPMorgan believes that it is related to the sourcing of OLED screens for the iPhone 8. In the past, factors like cost and supply availability might have prevented Apple from using OLED displays in the iPhones. But that is likely to change next year.
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Producing OLED displays is still pretty difficult
Apple has also made some changes in its risk related to the component acquisition statement. The tech giant says in its 10-K filing that it might have trouble purchasing certain parts on “commercially reasonable terms.” OLED display production is a complex process. Even minor errors could cause the loss of an entire batch of screens, raising the cost for buyers.
Apple currently uses OLED screens in the Apple Watch, and the new touch bar in the latest MacBook Pro. Reports suggest that the iPhone 8 will have an edge-to-edge display. The fingerprint sensor and home functionality will be embedded in the display itself. The 2017 iPhone is expected to be powered by an A11 Fusion processor.
iPhone 8 may feature AR mapping system
Earlier this week, Apple was granted patent for an augmented reality mapping system that uses the smartphone’s hardware and sensors to give users a real-time augmented view of their surroundings. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been bullish on augmented reality, and experts believe that the iPhone 8 could feature AR technology. Cook says AR will eventually become a bigger opportunity than VR.
The iPhone 8 is also rumored to feature long-distance wireless charging technology from Energous. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to charge their devices from a distance of up to 15 feet. Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn has been producing and testing wireless charging modules for the iPhone 8. However, the technology will be incorporated in the upcoming iPhone only if Foxconn can improve yield rates to satisfactory levels.