Apple will adopt OLED displays for its handsets beginning with the iPhone 8 in 2018, according to a new report coming out of Japan.
OLED displays offer better power efficiency, contrast, and more saturated colors. Currently Apple uses liquid crystal display (LCD) technology for its iPhones, although other companies like Samsung and LG have made the jump to OLED. Apple uses OLED for its Apple Watch devices, which have relatively low-volume production compared to the iPhone.
“OLED displays have been advancing at a relentless and fast pace with a constant series of systematic and strategic improvements, while LCDs have been coasting on their laurels for years,” says Raymond Soneira, a display expert at DisplayMate Technologies.
“The [Samsung] Galaxy S6 has more than double the resolution and more than 4 times the number of pixels as the iPhone 6. It also has significantly higher peak brightness, significantly higher contrast ratio in both low and high ambient light, significantly higher absolute color accuracy, significantly better viewing angle performance and has 4 selectable screen modes instead of a single fixed one on the iPhones.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports about Apple making the jump to OLED. Recently we reported on the news that Apple may be set to broker a deal with Samsung, which would see Apple’s long-time South Korean frenemy exclusively supply Apple with OLED panels.
Samsung is reportedly expanding its OLED production capacity on the basis that a deal with Apple is “on the fast track.”
Despite the fact that this is all still very much in the “rumor” category, rumors about a switch to OLED for iPhones is already having an impact on Apple’s suppliers. Today’s Nikkei report claims that the news that Apple may switch to OLED will “send suppliers racing” to improve their technology in this area. A separate report meanwhile notes that shares in LCD companies in Japan, including Minebea and Japan Display, plunged on the back of the “news.”