Apple’s ‘boring’ iPhone 7 will hit stores in less than a month, but there’s increased chatter online about the bold new iPhone update you’ve been craving. The iPhone due next year will mark Apple’s 10th iPhone anniversary – let’s call it iPhone 8 for the time being – and it should introduce a brand new form factor. Reports indicate that at least one new iPhone model next year will feature an OLED display, possibly a curved screen similar to what Samsung is doing with its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines.
Now, a new report from Asia reveals more details about the upcoming redesigned iPhone.
According to ETNews, Apple has started to select partners that will develop the components needed to make the OLED iPhone. Aside from the flexible OLED screen that will be provided by Samsung, Apple is also in talks with companies that provide other parts required for such a display.
“We are currently pushing to supply our new products for OLED iPhone,” a person working at an unidentified supplier told the site. “It seems that a decision will be made during the fourth quarter.”
“We are looking to supply our materials to Apple, and it seems like we will receive a decision in September or October,” a second source from an OLED material industry said.
Apple is looking for suppliers of flexible printed circuit boards that will be needed for the handset, or FPCB. Apparently, businesses are fiercely competing for Apple’s orders. The display change also implies that Apple could ditch some current suppliers.
Interestingly, the tone of the article seems to indicate that all of Apple’s future iPhones will have OLED displays. ETNews says that Apple plans to eliminate “most” of its current suppliers. The report also says that the reason Apple is receiving increased attention for moving to OLED displays is that its business decisions have an enormous impact on suppliers’ bottom line. The paper notes that yearly iPhone sales reached 200 million, a number that’s equivalent to the total number of OLED smartphones that were sold all of last year.
One other interesting tidbit from the report concerns screen size. Apple is reportedly testing 4.8-inch and 5.5-inch OLED displays, but it’s unclear whether Apple will release more than one new iPhone model with an OLED screen. Previous reports indicated that Apple would launch three iPhones next year, with only one of them sporting an OLED screen.
The OLED iPhone is tipped to feature a dual edge design similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Note 7 models, but Apple is expected to differentiate its design by “changing curvature” and other features. A Bloomberg report from earlier this week said that the OLED iPhone 8 might also lack a physical home button, which we’ve now heard a number of times.
Apple reportedly plans to source major components for the iPhone 8 beginning in May 2017, with orders and mass-production to take place in the second quarter of the year.