We’ve already heard rumors aplenty that the iPhone 7 will (finally!) be shipping with an OLED screen. Leaks from industry insiders and supply-chain analysis all pointed to this, and now a new report from an analyst that visited OLED factories says the same thing: OLED screens will be coming to iPhone in 2017.
The report comes from UBS analyst Nicolas Gaudois via StreetInsider. Gaudois was in Korea visiting factories for screen supply. According to him, Samsung will be the sole supplier of OLED screens for the 2017 iPhone, while LG is still in the running to produce screens the year after.
Most of the report is insider industry stuff, about which particular companies are supplying Apple with what. But the overwhelming evidence is that someone is buying up a hell of a lot of OLED screens, and the only product that could reasonably need that much extra capacity is Apple. Samsung already uses OLED displays in its top-end smartphones, so it wouldn’t be responsible for a sudden surge in demand.
Why is that a big deal? Well, organic light-emitting diode displays have pixels that light themselves, without needing a backlight. That makes for displays that are thinner (no need for a separate light behind the screen), have more contrast, since only the necessary pixels will light up, and better battery life for the same reason.
Apple makes a really good LCD screen right now, one that can just about play with the displays gracing Samsung and LG smartphones. But being the best at LCD is like being the best knife-thrower in the middle of a gunfight: impressive, but ultimately pointless.