While the majority of us have our eyes and ears fixed on the rapidly approaching release of Apple’s iPhone 7 handset(s), apparently not all eyes are focused solely on the forthcoming device. Over on the other side of the globe, for instance, it appears that one of Apple’s primary iPhone manufacturers — Taipei, China-based Foxconn — is already shifting gears and re-channeling its energies on the development and production of Apple’s 2017 iPhone — which, in accordance with what we’ve been hearing from the rumor mill thus far, is widely expected to be among the most dramatic, head-to-toe overhaulings of Silicon Valley’s hottest handset to date.
According to a recent report posted to popular Japanese microblog, Nikkei, Apple’s primary iPhone manufacturer is already in the process of developing both solid glass chassis and OLED display panels in an attempt to compete against both Samsung and LG for the chance to supply some components for Cupertino’s 10th anniversary handset.
Apple’s 2017 iPhone — whether it’s ultimately dubbed the ‘iPhone 7s’ or ‘iPhone 8’ — is rumored to be the first iPhone to feature OLED display technology — marking the Cupertino-company’s official departure from its current, generations-old LCD tech. Furthermore, as was recently reported by well-connected KGI Securities’ analyst, Ming Chi Kuo, Apple’s 10th-generation iPhone is also expected to feature the incorporation of new construction materials — such as, in place of the inherent 7,000-series aluminum, a full glass outer casing.
While OLED panels tend to be more expensive to produce, they have increasingly become more mainstream in recent years — particularly thanks to Samsung, and its self-produced panels currently employed on the Galaxy S7 flagships — which are considered by many as “the standard bearer” of OLED display technology.
As it stands, both Samsung and LG are currently the two most formidable contenders vying for OLED panel orders from Apple for the iPhone 8. However, in light of this news, it appears that Foxconn, too — one of Apple’s current iPhone manufacturing partners — is now trying to throw itself into the ring and score some of the OLED component orders, too. Bolstering Foxconn’s chances, perhaps, would be the firms recent acquisition of Japan’s Sharp Display Co.
In recent months, we’ve seen a few rumors about Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone being tossed around; and, if indeed they are valid, consumers can except that the device will be a major refresh — if not a complete overhaul, altogether — over the iPhone 6/6s, and even the forthcoming iPhone 7. In addition to new build materials and OLED displays, the handset is expected to boast a potentially redesigned, repositioned Touch ID module embedded within the display, itself, as well as (fingers crossed!) an Iris Scanner — a la the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Additionally, the 2017 iPhone should feature the standard, year-over-year, internal component upgrades across the board — including an ‘A11’ SoC, perhaps more RAM, and, if we’re lucky, a bigger battery — although, for what it’s worth, OLED display technology has consistently proven to be much more power efficient than LCD, so I suppose that much remains to be seen.
Will you be picking up an iPhone 7 this year, or will you be waiting for the overhauled ‘iPhone 8’ next fall? Let us know in the comments!