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iPhone 8 could launch much later than usual this year

Apple’s next flagship iPhone could be delayed, according to the latest news out of China.

Every year, Apple maintains a tradition of launching a brand new iPhone in September at a dedicated launch event in Cupertino. But that may be about to change, as China’s Economic Daily News reports that Apple may have to push the launch of this year’s iPhone back to October or November.

But why the possible delays? Well this year, Apple is reportedly cooking up a special edition version of the iPhone 8. The long-rumoured plan is that this fancy iPhone 8 will feature a curved OLED display, which would be a first for Apple smartphones.

According to the EDN, Apple’s suppliers are facing technical issues related to “the lamination process of curved OLED panels”. The report also notes that there are difficulties in the adoption of a 3D sensing system.

Despite rival Samsung having used OLED screens for years, Apple has steered clear of the technology in phones. That’s probably partly thanks to the fact that Samsung manufactures the majority of the world’s supply of phone-sized OLED screens, but OLED displays are also more expensive, which could turn some phone makers off.

Compared to a conventional LED-backlit LCD display, an OLED screen has pixels that emit their own light, negating the need for a backlight. This means that individual pixels can be turned on or off, allowing truer blacks to be shown on-screen. The fact that there’s no backlight also means that OLED screens are more energy efficient.

It’s believed that Apple wants to release the special edition iPhone 8 alongside two more traditional iPhone 7S handsets to mark the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. Until we hear any more solid leaks, it’s probably worth assuming that the usual September launch is a-go. Alternatively, Apple may launch normal iPhones in September, and hold a later event for the special edition model.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

What would you like to see from the iPhone 8? Let us know in the comments.

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