The iPhone 8 is set to be the highlight of this or any other smartphone year later in 2017, but increasingly it seems that this will not be the only major mobile release from Apple. The consumer electronics giant is reportedly working on a prototype device that will also see the light of day before the calendar year is out. Dubbed the iPhone X, this next generation smartphone will hugely impact on the marketplace later this year.

iPhone x Price
iPhone X Box image via LetsGoDigital

Analysts believe that the X included in the branding of this smartphone will refer to the tenth generation via the Roman numeral for ten. This third device in the iPhone 8 series will effectively acknowledge the importance of this decade of smartphone supremacy. Apple will want to put out something outstanding to mark ten years since the first iPhone began to completely change the way that many of us interact with the world.

iPhone X: OLED central

While the iPhone X will be characterized by several new features, central to these will be the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display that is increasingly linked with the next generation Apple smartphone. Whether this will be unique to the iPhone X remains to be seen, as it has been suggested that OLED could be included in all iPhone 8 models.

But Apple is expected to take the lead from Samsung in this department, with analysts suggesting that the iPhone 8 OLED display specifications will be extremely similar to the doomed Galaxy Note 7, and particularly the forthcoming Galaxy S8. Apple is keen to embrace OLED as it offers critical advantages over the LCD technology that it has relied on for previous iPhone releases. In particular, it is thought that OLED is kinder on battery life than its LCD equivalents, and this would be particularly welcome for Apple as it has perennially struggled in this department.

There was good news for Apple recently, with sales of the Apple Watch sales spiking significantly. This suggests that smartwatches are beginning to establish themselves as mainstream devices, and considering that Apple controls the overwhelming majority of the smartwatch marketplace, this could perhaps take some of the onus away from the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Revenue generator

Nonetheless, the iPhone continues to generate over 60 percent of Apple revenue in any given calendar year, and this will not change with the next generation iPhone. So the pressure on the consumer electronics giants to deliver something outstanding is multiplied, particularly considering the recent sales figures have been, shall we say, lukewarm.

However, despite the fact that there are clear motivations for Apple to include OLED in this mooted iPhone X, the fact remains that switching to this display technology will pose technical problems. This will fundamentally change the mechanical engineering involved in the iPhone 8, while the electronics, batteries and software tied to the display will all need to be taken into consideration. This obviously presents a serious logistical problem, even for a company of the size and scope of Apple.

But the Californian corporation has such an outstanding reputation for producing its trademark hardware and software combination that it seems likely that this hurdle will be traversed by the time that the iPhone X emerges.

Indeed, many analuyst believe that the switch to OLED in fact presents a massive opportunity for Apple. Each of the smartphone manufacturers will attempt to differentiate their similar display hardware with differing and innovative software and firmware, and with Apple needing to rewrite aspects of iOS anyway, there is no doubt that this will form a major part of the strategy. While iOS is undoubtedly a outstanding operating system, considering the raft of new features anticipated for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X generation, it is obvious that there needs to be severe tweaking of the code.

No OLED for iPhone 8

It has also been suggested by some experts on Apple’s operations that it will be impossible for Apple to include OLED in all iPhone models. This is due to costs associated with switching to this pricier technology, while it is also suggested that it will be difficult for Samsung to supply the tens of millions of displays per quarter that Apple would require for multiple OLED models. Of course, Samsung must also produce displays for its own products.

Apple is likely to produce its first ever curved screen smartphone when it the iPhone 8 is released, the introduction of OLED is imminent, the corporation also reportedly plans to significantly redesign the iPhone unit, while a series of new features including the Home button, fingerprint sensor, ambient light and proximity sensors being incorporated within the display, along with wireless charging…that adds up to a pretty significant departure from previous iPhone releases. A challenge for Apple, but an exciting proposition for iPhone consumers.