It looks like Apple is pushing forward with a major screen upgrade with next year’s rumoured iPhone 8.
As expected, Apple appears to be securing OLED panels ahead of the likely launch of the iPhone 8 in September 2017. JP Morgan has dived deep into Apple’s most recent Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing, and uncovered a purchase order for what may be OLED panels. The order extends for an entire year, and is valued at around $4 billion.
What’s interesting is the the purchase order coincides with an “off-balance sheet obligation” for the same amount from Q3, which – as AppleInsider notes – analysts believe may be related to Apple’s sourcing of panels from Samsung’s display division. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that this means the iPhone 8 will use an OLED screen.
However, while it’s believed that Samsung is providing screens to Apple, it may not be the only supplier. Japan Display has already confirmed plans to move to OLED mass production, while Sharp’s CEO recently revealed that Apple is shifting to OLED screens.
In fact, it’s long been rumoured that Apple would begin using OLED displays on the 2017 iPhone model. It’s expected to be one of many major upgrades that are set to herald the 10th anniversary iPhone release.
Apple has never launched an OLED iPhone, despite rivals such as Samsung having already adopted the technology. Unlike conventional LED-backlit displays, an OLED screen uses pixels that emit their own light. This means that individual pixels can be turned on or off, reducing the need for a backlight, and thus improving power efficiency.
OLED displays also show deeper blacks, and are generally seen as a big improvement over traditional LCD screens.
Related: Galaxy S8 release date
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