Samsung is reportedly spending billions on preparations for the launch of the iPhone 8. Yes, you read that correctly.
Asian news site Nikkei reports that Samsung has plans to increase the production of OLED smartphone displays by over 50% this year, reportedly in an effort to supply Apple with panels for next year’s iPhone 8.
According to the report, Samsung plans to spend around 8 trillion won ($6.91 billion/£4.72 billion) this year in a bid to boost manufacturing capacity. The company reportedly aims to churn out an incredible extra 200 million OLED panels as a result of this investment.
Concept designs for the iPhone 7 (2016) by Dutch designer Martin Hajek
OLED panels are different than conventional LCD displays in that each pixel produces its own light, rather than requiring a backlight. This means that you get truer blacks, because individual pixels can actually be turned off. Naturally, this also means that OLED panels are more power efficient. Samsung currently holds a near-monopoly on OLED panels for smartphones, while LG is the dominant producer of OLED displays for TVs. It’s estimated that Samsung currently produces over 300 million OLED smartphone screens each year.
In March, Nikkei reported that Apple had brought forward plans to ditch LCD displays in favour of OLED screens. The report suggested that the first OLED iPhone would arrive in 2017, contrary to other reports at the time pointing to a later 2018 launch. At the time, it was alleged that Apple was courting both LG and Samsung for the contract.
Samsung's Galaxy S7 features a Samsung-built AMOLED display
Then in April, The Korea Herald reported that it was Samsung that managed to bag the manufacturing contract. This deal was reportedly valued at $2.59 billion, and conscripted Samsung to supply 100 million 5.5-inch OLED panels per year, starting from 2017.
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