Samsung has become a display supplier for the Apple Watch, and soon it could help build the next iPhone screens. According to South Korean ET News, Apple may tap the South Korean electronics giant to build OLED displays for its next smartphone, the so-called iPhone 7.
LG Display was originally the sole supplier of displays for the Apple Watch, according to Barron's. However, Apple typically uses multiple vendors to supply components such as processors and memory chips. By using an OLED display in the iPhone, Apple would be able to ditch backlights entirely for the screen, since the pixels in an OLED display can light up individually without one.
Apple is expected to decide in November whether to use Samsung as its display supplier. Apple going with Samsung could affect the production of curved OLED displays for Samsung’s own devices, according to DigiTimes. On the other hand, Apple has a considerable $1.4 billion investment in Japan Display Inc. to build a plant exclusively to supply LCD screens to the iPhone maker. The Japanese manufacturer already supplies displays for Apple. But the new plant isn’t expected to begin operations until 2016, according to Reuters. Supply chain rumors have also pointed to Apple considering a reduction in the side bezels of the iPhone to create an edge-to-edge display.
On the processor front, Apple is expected to turn to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. exclusively, instead of splitting orders between TSMC and Samsung, according to China’s Commercial Times.
But for now, Apple’s customers are focused on its latest smartphones on the market, the iPhone 6S and the 6S Plus, which launched in September. The iPhone 6S retains a similar design to the 2014 model, but comes with upgraded internals, such as a 12-megapixel camera, A9 processor and pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display.