Without question, Apple’s iPhone X represents the company’s boldest shift in iPhone design since the original debuted over a decade ago — with its cornerstone feature being that gorgeous, 5.8-inch Samsung-built AMOLED display. And while the first iPhone to axe a Home button and sport the edge-to-edge form-factor is likely to set the course for Cupertino’s design language in the years to come, a brand-new report from South Korean market news publication, The Investor, claims that Apple is already working on an even newer, bolder, and more futuristic iPhone design that could debut by sometime in 2020. (See our foldable iPhone image gallery at the bottom of this page.)
Interestingly, the iPhone redesign cited in this report won’t only incorporate a foldable OLED display panel (much like the kind Samsung is expected to launch as early as next year), but the Cupertino tech-giant is actually working on its own, proprietary form of foldable OLED technology which sources say is such a tightly-held secret, the iPhone-maker has expressed concerns that Samsung Display Co. might hijack its ideas and pass them along to its parent company, Samsung Electronics.
And it’s apparently out of this dire concern that Apple has allegedly turned to LG Display — Samsung’s chief rival in the OLED-manufacturing space — to help develop its new foldable OLED tech for iPhone, the report claims. “LG Display recently created a task force to develop a foldable OLED screen for the new iPhone model, while its parts-making sister firm LG Innotek has also setup a team dedicated to developing the rigid flexible printed circuit board.”
Is Apple Dumping Samsung?
What’s interesting is that it seems as if Apple will simply drop Samsung as its display supplier once this new OLED design is achieved — even despite the company’s existing, lucrative contracts for supplying other iPhone components. Moreover, we’ve heard several times in the past that Samsung and Apple will work together on future OLED displays for the iPhone through 2018, at least — and particularly on next-year’s rumored 6.46-inch ‘iPhone X Plus’.
And so perhaps this report, if accurate, begs the question — what happened?
Of course, most of us know that Samsung Display Co. is the world’s largest, most advanced, contract-based OLED display-maker — but its also a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, which happens to be Apple’s fiercest rival in the smartphone space. And as you likely know if you’ve been following smartphone industry news for the last few years, Apple and Samsung share a rich and colorful history of battling it out in court — even as high up as the U.S. Supreme Court — over their patent and intellectual property disputes.
If accurate, therefore, today’s report would suggest that Apple’s futuristic, foldable OLED iPhone design is so fresh and out-of-this-world, the company simply doesn’t want to run the risk of Samsung copying its plans like they always do.