We have almost a year to go until Apple unveils the next iPhone, but it’s widely believed that at least one iPhone 8 version will feature an OLED display, marking a huge change for the company. Apple so far has relied on LCD screens for the iPhone, but uses OLED panels in other products including Apple Watch and, most recently, the 2016 MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar.
Multiple reports claim that Apple is finally ready to make the jump to OLED screens in its iPhones, and there’s more proof coming in that direction, this time directly from Apple.
Apple’s most recent Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing contains a detail that seems to back up existing iPhone rumors concerning OLED displays.
Apple Insider‘s J.P. Morgan noticed that Apple placed a purchase order with more than a year duration for the first time. The total amount is quite substantial: $4 billion. Apparently, the order coincides with an “off-balance sheet obligation: for the same amount from the third quarter, believed to be a long-term OLED obligation to Samsung for the future iPhone.
Samsung is seen as the primary beneficiary of the first iPhone models that will have an OLED display, but competing suppliers including LG, Foxconn’s Sharp, and Japan Display are also making large investments in OLED display factories.
Not only is an Apple contract very lucrative for a supplier, but the OLED iPhone will convince other smartphone makers to adopt such screen technology for their iPhone killers.
Apple also made a change in its risk related to component acquisition statement. The company said that it might have trouble acquiring certain components “on commercially reasonable terms.”
Several factors, including supply availability and cost, may have prevented Apple from equipping the iPhone with an OLED display in the past, but that may be changing.