Apple has asked its suppliers to ramp up OLED screen production and may introduce the technology in the iPhone 8.
(CCM) — Apple has put its Asian suppliers on notice that it will soon be demanding large quantities of thin organic light emitting display (OLED) screens and has requested prototypes that offer higher resolution than those used by Samsung in its phones, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The news has led Apple-watchers to speculate that the iPhone 8 may hit the shelves next year with a curved OLED screen. The report says that Apple will buy most of the OLED screens from Samsung — its largest rival in the smartphone market — but has also asked LG, Sharp (owned by Foxconn), and Japan Display to invest in OLED manufacturing capabilities so that they are in a position to supply screens in 2018.
OLED screen technology offers deeper blacks, brighter colors, and lower power consumption than LCD displays. It is common practice for companies like Apple to use multiple suppliers for the same component to ensure that its production plans cannot be disrupted by a single supplier. But the Wall Street Journal report said that Sharp will have to invest more than $5 billion to bring suitable OLED manufacturing capacity on stream. That could be risky for the company because Apple is currently prototyping ten different iPhone 8 models, according to the report, and there is no guarantee that Apple will not scrap its OLED plans before next year's iPhone 8 launch.
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