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The iPhone might be getting an AMOLED screen as soon as next year

Published Mar 17th, 2016 7:45AM EDT

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Apple is expected to equip some of its future iPhone generations with AMOLED screens, and while the company is far from confirming such rumors, more and more reports provide indirect evidence that the AMOLED iPhone is near. The main suppliers that will deliver AMOLED panels to iPhone are expected to be Samsung and LG, and a new report indicates that Korean AMOLED panel makers are going to dominate global supply for the years to come.

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Market research firm UBI Research said on Wednesday in a note to investors seen by Business Korea that South Korean AMOLED display manufacturers will make some 270 million units this year, or 95% of global shipments.

Samsung and LG are expected to rake in a record $14.22 billion this year, or 96% of international sales, with momentum remaining strong through 2020 – by then their market share might drop to 70% as other companies will also mass-produce such components.

Currently, it’s Samsung that’s the largest consumer of AMOLED displays, and the company is going to sell at least 47 million Galaxy-branded devices equipped with AMOLED panels in 2016. The Galaxy S7 series has the best smartphone display on the market, according to an expert, which happens to be an AMOLED display.

Apple, meanwhile, is rumored to use AMOLED screens next year, Business Korea notes, for what would likely be a version of the iPhone 7s series. Samsung and/or LG are seen as the main beneficiaries of such an iPhone design decision.

The Korean site says that both companies have increased their investment in AMOLED panel production lines since the beginning of this year, in preparation for a potential demand growth.

In fact, in a different report, Reuters adds that LG Display on Thursday announced it will build a new production plant that will manufacture organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for its lighting business.

The news site does not mention the iPhone or Apple, but LG Display did say that it plans to begin production with the new plant in the first half of 2017. In other words, LG might be preparing to make AMOLED screens for either the 2017 iPhone 7s or 2018 iPhone 8.

Reuters quotes UBI Research as well, which said that OLED light market will grow from $135 million this year to $1.6 billion in 2020.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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