The so-called "iPhone 8" expected in 2018 could find itself not with an LCD screen but a flexible OLED screen. LG and Samsung Display are close to an agreement with Apple to ramp up their production of OLED displays over the next two to three years, reports the Electronic Times.
During that time, the two South Korean companies are expected to invest 15 trillion Korean won ($12.8 billion) to expand their display production capacity. LG is expected to shift some of its LCD lines to the production of the flexible OLED displays.
At the same time, Japan Display — one of Apple’s LCD displays suppliers — doesn’t want to be left out of the running. The screen manufacturer is also in talks with Apple to secure a portion of its OLED orders, starting with a prototype production line in the spring of 2016, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkan.
Samsung and LG are expected to manufacturer the screens in the near future. In the meantime, Apple has also established a display prototyping lab in Taiwan, with engineering and research staff working on new OLED displays.
The iPhone maker is also exploring another type of display technology called micro-LED, which, as the name implies, uses pixels smaller than those found on current LCD and LED-backlit displays. Apple in 2014 gained ownership over several patents related to the technology when it acquired LuxVue Technology in 2014, according to TechCrunch.
If Apple does go forward with an iPhone with an OLED display, it would be the second device in its lineup to use the technology — the first being the Apple Watch, which went on sale in April.
While some analysts are already looking to Apple’s iPhone two to three years from now, many investors and analysts are also keeping a close eye on the all-important December quarter, where they’re looking to see if Apple can repeat or beat record breaking sales of 74.5 million iPhones sold during the same period last year.