The latest word on the street indicates that Apple is now seriously considering releasing an OLED iPhone 8 in 2017. This has been the talk of the rumor mill for some time, with previous reports suggesting that Apple will enlist the assistance of its great rival Samsung in order to deliver this display technology.
OLED Technology is significantly less greedy when it comes to power, and this would be a huge plus for the iPhone range in particular. Apple’s flagship is often been criticized for its paltry battery life, and the consumer electronics giant would undoubtedly welcome any measure which could improve the situation.
It seems that the OLED iPhone 8 could be just one of several releases made by Apple in 2017, and the more bog standard iPhone 8 devices may stick to traditional LCD displays. There have been suggestions that Apple will release three separate iPhone 8 handsets in September next year, with OLED being reserved for the premium of these three consumer options.
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Meanwhile, reports are also suggesting that Apple will seriously slim down the bezels in this OLED version of the iPhone 8 at least. Again, this is something that has been rumored for some time, and is considered a design priority for numerous smartphone manufacturers. There is no news on whether this bezel-light ethos will be limited to the premium OLED phone, but this would be another design parameter that would enable Apple to distinguish it from other versions of the iPhone 8.
Apple may also choose to integrate the Touch ID fingerprint button into the display itself when it unveils the OLED mobile. There have been suggestions that Apple could eliminate the Home button completely, after the company previously took the radical decision to eliminate the headphone jack from the iPhone series.
iPhone 8’s curved screen
It seems that Apple is also considering including curved edges on both sides of the OLED release, finally delivering a curved screen display iPhone for the first time. This designer parameter has, of course, proved to be hugely successful for Samsung, with the Korean corporation having also utilized the technology in its range of premium television sets.
Analysts already believe that this new OLED iPhone 8 will be the most popular new smartphone to be released in 2017, and there is more positive news with regard to projected sales figures. Apple could be on line at to generate record sales of the iPhone 8 in the second half of 2017, after the corporation predicted that sales figures will recede slightly in the current calendar year.
Meanwhile, reports in Korea suggest that Apple is making serious preparations for the release of the iPhone 8, with the Korea Herald printing a story related to component suppliers for the iconic smartphone. It seems that companies involved in the Apple supply chain have already made the decision to increase supply ahead of the iPhone 8 handset, with the likes of Interflex and BH apparently ramping up production of flexible printed circuit boards.
Korean Media outlets also suggest that Samsung Electro-Mechanics is in negotiations with Apple over supply of the same parts, and it is notable that these three companies are all Samsung Display suppliers. The Korea Herald goes on to suggest that Samsung Display will indeed be the sole supplier of OLED screens when the iPhone 8 launches next year.
Meanwhile, the first shipment of flexible printed boards is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2017, with providers set to deliver between 60 and 70 million parts in 2017 alone. It is expected that the components for the iPhone 8 will be assembled at a Samsung Display module plans located in Vietnam.
It is interesting that Apple seems to be making diversity the byword for the iPhone 8. Recent Wall Street Journal reports have indicated that Apple is testing several proposed designs for the release of the iPhone 8, and it could be that more than one of these turns up in the actual finished product. Apple is clearly hoping to deliver something spectacular and out of the ordinary with the iPhone 8 in order to acknowledge the 10-year anniversary of the vastly successful smartphone.
S-generation days numbered
Another intriguing observation made by some analysts is that the iPhone 8 may represent the abandonment of the traditional Apple S-generation strategy. Over the last few years, the Californian corporation has opted to release S versions of the iPhone on a biannual basis. While these handsets have sold relatively well for the corporation, the fact remains that they are often rather uninspiring upgrades, as opposed to a genuine reworking of the iPhone concept.
And thus many believe that the time has now come for Apple to abandon this alternation between major and minor updates to the iPhone range. This comes in a climate of the smartphone market receding significantly, with even the inordinately popular iPhone struggling to deliver year-on-year growth. It seems that Apple strategy from hereon in may instead focus on delivering a major iPhone upgrade on an annual basis.
Another suggestion which has cropped up in the media recently with regard to the iPhone 8 is that it could be constructed, at least to some extent, in the United States. Newly elected President Trump has seemingly been in contact with Tim Cook at Apple, with a view to shifting some of the production for the iPhone 8 from China to the United States.
While Trump has made rather a big deal out of this possibility, the reality is that it is much more likely to be rhetoric than any meaningful change in Apple policy. Apple relocated to Asia for several reasons, and none of those reasons has remotely changed. However, it is something that the manufacturer could consider as a possible public relations move, a figurative acknowledgement of the positive way this would be perceived by Americans.
In reality, the idea that Apple will seriously abandon the advantages it receives from constructing products in East Asia seems pretty laughable. So don’t expect an iPhone 8 to be built in the United States, but do expect it to go on sale in September with OLED displays.