Apple is rumoured to be bringing the long-anticipated switch to an OLED iPhone screen forward to 2017.
Several reports had previously suggested that Apple was going to stick with LCD screen technology until 2018, when it would launch the first OLED-packing iPhone. But a recent report from China suggests the company might be accelerating its plans.
Nikkei (via Appleinsider) claims that Apple reached out to LG and Samsung – the two leading names in OLED – to see if they could churn out the required number of OLED screens in time for a 2017 iPhone launch.
It's suggested that the supply constraints brought about by this acceleration would mean the component would initially be limited to a top-end model such as an iPhone 7S Plus or an iPhone Pro.
This would also mean that Apple's OLED debut would likely coincide with the launch of the iPhone 7S, and so wouldn't accompany a bold new redesign as it would in 2018. It has been claimed that Apple is planning a bold, curved design for the iPhone 8, which would be enabled by flexible OLED display technology.
So why does Apple want to rush through its switch to OLED screen technology? The report claims that it's down to stagnating iPhone sales.
Related: iPhone 7 release date
Analysts are predicting that 2016 will see iPhone sales declining for the first time. Apple's iPhone sales growth has slowed significantly of late, and there are reports of excess stock and of slashed iPhone 6S orders.
Is a shiny new OLED screen, with its deep blacks and greater contrasts, what's needed to reverse this slump? We're not so sure it is, but we'd take it happily.