Nov 1, 2016: Apple’s next generation iPhone 8 will feature OLED screens, confirms Tai Jeng-wu, president, Sharp, which supplies smartphone panels to Apple. This remark comes at a time when Apple is seeking to revamp the design of its upcoming iPhone to increase sales during the 10th anniversary of its flagship device in 2017.
Tai made the remark at Tatung University while addressing the students, in which he confirmed that Apple’s iPhone has been evolving, and is now ready to make the switch from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels.
“We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity”, Tai added.
The OLED benefits
As compared to LTPS, OLEDs provide sharper color contrast, and their suppleness permits manufacturers to make curved and bendable screens. As of now, curved OLED screens have been used in Samsung’s Note 7 and S7 edge handsets.
Although Tai did not give further details as to when the iPhone will start using OLED screens, he said that Sharp is building a new OLED facility in Japan. Further, the company also has plans to make OLED panels in the US if Apple demands it to manufacture in the US, added Tai.
Apple has cautiously planned three iPhone models for the 10th anniversary of its flagship device. While a premium 5.5-inch handset will have a curved OLED screen, the other two models will stick with the existing LTPS panels.
Earlier, it was widely rumored that Samsung Electronics would be the exclusive supplier of OLED panels to Apple for its 2017 iPhone series. However, Tai’s recent remark indicates something else, and has also created buzz across the industry.