According to Japanese website Nikkei, Apple plans to switch to OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018.
The report claims that Apple has notified its suppliers about its future plans, with LG Display already planning capacity upgrades for high-volume OLED display production. LG Display and Samsung Electronics will likely share a large portion of the OLED panel production for future iPhones.
Due to the high volume of iPhones that Apple ships, and the technical challenges of producing OLED displays, the report claims the company will likely continue to sell iPhones with LCD screens alongside models with new OLED displays.
“Samsung Electronics is currently the only company that can reliably mass-produce OLED smartphone screens. LG Display has a track record for producing OLEDs for television screens. Given this, the two companies will likely supply a large portion of Apple’s displays.”
Samsung’s popular Galaxy-branded smartphones are equipped with AMOLED displays, as is the Apple Watch, but iPhones have always had LCD displays since the original model launched over eight years ago.
OLED displays can provide sharper images and brighter colours compared to LCD displays, but generally have a shorter lifespan and higher manufacturing costs. Apple has reportedly been talking with display makers about OLED technology to eliminate any of the potential drawbacks.