Apple’s highly-anticipated iPhone 8 is still months away from hitting store shelves, but that hasn’t stopped the company from going ahead and inking a deal with Samsung Display, which according to a report published Tuesday by The Investor, would see the South Korea-based OLED display-maker supply Apple with as many as 160 million OLED displays for next year’s ‘iPhone 9’ lineup. That’s right, folks — we’re talking about the iPhone 9 now.
“The two companies have recently signed a non-disclosure agreement on general conditions, including the screen size,” industry sources were cited saying in the report, while adding that “Other details such as screen design and functions could be adjusted considering the phone is still under development.”
The report goes on to say that Samsung Display will produce two different sized OLED displays for the iPhone 9, including a 5.28- and a massive 6.46-inch variant. No other details about the display, its design, curvature, resolution, or any other details about the iPhone 9, were revealed in the report.
Samsung Display is already slated to be Apple’s sole supplier of OLED displays this year, providing up to 100 million 5.8-inch OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 8 flagship — which could also be called the iPhone Edition, according to insider sources. It certainly would make sense for Apple to tap Samsung Display for its future OLED display orders. It’s also been rumored, however, that Cupertino is working with several other OLED manufacturers, including LG Display, in order to supply it with a sufficient number of flexible OLED panels for ‘future products’.
If the report is true, it would appear that Apple is working to make good on its promise of eventually transitioning its entire iPhone lineup to OLED display tech, replacing the current, albeit rapidly-aging, LCD technology used in devices as recent as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Since OLED display technology is already being employed in the Apple Watch, for example, it’s not improbable that the company is looking to shift other products in its portfolio over to OLED display tech, as well. In fact, Apple’s impending transition to OLED — both for this year’s iPhone 8 and next year’s iPhone 9 lineup — could be just the beginning of a broader transition to OLED display technology for everything from iPhones and iPads, to MacBooks and more, as suggested by a previous report that Apple has been courting Chinese OLED suppliers.
So while Apple’s overall plans for OLED technology remain largely in the dark, this report certainly provides hope for a much brighter, more vibrant, and not to mention, more energy-efficient future for iPhone fans. No word on when we can expect Apple to release an iPhone 9 — or even if the device will, in fact, be called ‘iPhone 9’ — but based on history, we can only assume that the rumor mill will start really heating up about it this holiday season.