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Is Apple planning to use OLED displays for next iPhone?

A new report from Japan suggests Apple is setting up for a delivery of mass-produced OLED displays.

According to Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (via GForGames), Foxconn is going to be manufacturing the OLED panels at its brand new factory.

What’s more, the factory is an exclusive producer for Apple, which means that Cupertino is the likely destination for the new displays.

Apparently, the OLED panels will be produced in a limited quantity some time next year, which could see them debut on a future Apple product.

Related: CES 2015: What’s happened at the Las Vegas tech expo so far?

While there’s nothing strange about Apple placing a big order for displays, the use of OLED panels is odd.

Apple has typically utilised LCD displays in previous iPhones, so future fruit-stamped smartphones could feature the new panels.

Of course, Apple could also be looking to use the OLED displays on future Apple Watch models too, or even the iPad.

What’s the difference between LCD and OLED?

If all of this means nothing to you’re, here’s a brief run-down of the difference between the two displays.

An LCD screen has tiny crystals built into it, which are then illuminated via a backlight. An OLED display, by contrast, has its own colour-producing elements built in, although they produce their own light, negating the need for a backlight.

OLED displays typically have better picture quality, and have the advantage of being able to turn off portions of the screen to display true black.

There’s also no loss of picture quality when you view OLED screens at funky angles, a big plus over LCD displays that suffer heavy distortion side-on.

LCDs also use more electricity thanks to the backlight being ever-on, likely contributing to the battery life woes of many iPhone users.

So why buy LCD displays at all? Well the main reason is that they’re cheaper to produce, thus boosting profit margins on Apple hardware.

There’s no telling what Apple is planning to do with the OLED displays. The limited run could suggest it has plans to build a few prototypes and test the waters first.

We’ll report back as we know more.

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