Apple has tried to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to displays on its smartphones, and it seems as though the company finally plans on bringing OLED technology to the iPhone within the next few years, with plans being to implement the technology by 2018.
According to reports, Apple has been notifying its suppliers of its future plans to make the switch, with LG already being lined up to provide a high volume of OLED displays for the iPhone 8, or whatever it ends up being called.
Of course, it’s likely that Samsung will share production with LG for the future iPhone, at least according to the reports. This is because of the fact that Samsung is currently the only company that can reliably mass-produce OLED screens for smartphones, with LG being known more for its OLED displays for OLED displays. While the report suggests LG has been confirmed, this is why Samsung will likely share responsibilities.
The change to OLED technology will have major implications for Apple’s current suppliers of its TFT-LCD displays. These include the likes of Sharp, which is, according to the report, currently scrambling to rebuild its operations, as well as Japan Display, which relies on Apple for a hefty 30 percent of its business.
In fact, due to the technical challenges that will likely arise from the mass production of OLED displays, Apple is expected to sell iPhones with both OLED displays and TFT-LED displays.
It’s really about time that Apple makes the switch to OLED technology, especially considering the fact that OLED technology will help increase battery life. OLED displays don’t require any energy to produce black, while they do use energy to produce white and colors. Because of this, OLED is considered “energy saving.”
OLED displays also offer a sharper image and brighter colors compared to other displays. They do, however, have drawbacks, generally costing more to make and having slightly shorter lifespans. Apple has reportedly been in talks with display makers on how to avoid these drawbacks. While many smartphones from competitors and even the Apple Watch use OLED displays, the iPhone has kept a TFT display ever since it was released eight years ago.
“OLEDs are known for offering sharper images and colors than the conventional liquid crystal displays used in cellphones since the 1990s, as well as for their power-saving capacity,” said the report. “The screens can also be bent and rounded to a certain degree, giving companies greater flexibility when designing devices.”
Samsung, according to reports, is looking to really play a big part in the production of displays for future iPhones, and will even challenge LG for the business. Because of the fact that Samsung is reportedly looking to grow its business in displays, it is even willing to drop prices for its OLED displays to meet Apple’s requirements.
“Prices are being brought down, and other technological issues are rapidly being addressed,” continued the report. “If Apple adopts OLED technology in its next iPhones, this will benefit the entire ecosystem in the global display industry.”
Interestingly enough, many suggest that if Apple made the switch to OLED displays, it would also change the iOS operating system to be more black-based in order to save energy, rather than the white-based operating system that it currently is. This would be similar to the colors that the Apple Watch currently use in WatchOS.
Despite the reports, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently suggested that Apple likely won’t adopt AMOLED displays for at least the next three years, suggesting that Foxconn, one of Apple’s main providers, is getting ready to invest $4 billion in TFT-LCD production lines in China for mass production some time in 2018. Some suggest, however, that the displays made by Foxconn will instead be used on Apple’s lower-end iPhones rather than the flagship model.
Apple has traditionally been at the forefront of technology, and its Retina displays were a big deal when they originally came out. Despite this, of late other manufacturers have been offering much denser displays than Apple, and while it could be suggested that it really doesn’t matter that much to the naked eye at this point, on paper it still doesn’t look so good.