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The major iPhone tech upgrade we’ve been waiting for may come sooner than we thought

Published Mar 3rd, 2016 8:49AM EST
iPhone 7s

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may be planning to incorporate OLED displays onto the iPhone a lot sooner than previously anticipated. According to a report from Nikkei, Apple in December reached out to both LG and Samsung about the likelihood of ramping up OLED display production in time for Apple’s 2017 iPhone release.

Previously, it was largely believed that Apple wouldn’t begin using OLED technology until the iPhone 8 release in 2018. As for the change to the iPhone roadmap, one of the more interesting explanations behind the switch alleges that Apple is hoping to  “offset a predicted stall in iPhone sales…”

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Apple interest in OLED is of course nothing new, with reports from a few months ago suggesting that Apple was on the verge of inking a deal with both LG and Samsung to manufacture the displays. And speaking to the magnitude of the deal, it was reported that both companies were planning to invest $12.8 billion to beef up their OLED manufacturing capabilities in order to handle the iPhone’s unparalleled sales volume.

If this particular rumor pans out, the iPhone 7s release may be an unusually compelling ‘S’ cycle refresh. Not only are OLED displays remarkably thin, they also deliver richer and more vibrant colors than LED alternatives.

There are some notable drawbacks to OLED displays, however. Not only are they expensive to manufacture, but the color saturation on OLED screens has been known to fade over time. Nonetheless, it stands to reason that Apple would only ship an iPhone equipped with OLED technology if it manages to engineer around those limitations. Remember, Apple does have a secret research lab in Taiwan where a staff of approximately 50 engineers are tasked with researching and developing mobile displays that are thinner, brighter and more energy-efficient.

There’s no question that the iPhone 7 is going to be a huge hit, but now there’s reason to believe that the iPhone 7s may be just as important of an upgrade.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.