Apple could be partnering with China's biggest LCD manufacturer for its future iPhones. Reuters/Mike Segar

Apple is always thinking of the future. While the Cupertino giant is currently prepping for the launch of its 10th anniversary iPhones this September, it is also contemplating on signing a deal with China’s biggest LCD manufacturer BOE Technology Group Co. for the displays of its next-generation iPhones slated to launch in 2018 or later.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg learned from unnamed sources that Tim Cook’s company is looking into BOE as it plans for its future iPhones. Apple is even testing the Beijing-based firm’s active-matrix organic light-emitting diode screens while private negotiations are taking place.

Should Apple sign a deal with BOE, it would be the first time that the Cupertino tech giant is outsourcing its iPhone displays from a manufacturer that’s not based in Japan and South Korea. This would also help BOE cement its name in the global scene from being one of China’s leading computer and TV display makers.

In preparation for the possible deal with Apple, BOE is reportedly spending 100 billion yuan or $14.5 billion to build two AMOLED plants in Sichuan. These plants will not only ensure that the company could meet Apple’s demand, but also prepare it for bigger projects in the future.

Bloomberg’s sources said that it’s impossible for BOE to be part of the roster of OLED suppliers for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at this point. Thus, the Chinese company is hoping to be part of firms that will be supplying displays for what’s next after this year’s iPhones. BOE declined to comment about this new revelation; Apple also refused to confirm the rumored negotiations.

This new information on the next-generation iPhones comes days after Apple and Samsung signed a $4.3 billion deal for the 60 million 5-inch OLED displays the latter is supplying the former. Previously, the two companies sealed the deal for the 100 million 5.5-inch OLED screens Samsung is providing for the upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone, as per Apple Insider.

Apple is expected to keep its usual timetable for its new releases. Hence, it is very likely for the company to introduce its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus successors in the month of September. Previous leaks revealed that Apple is going to name its next flagship “iPhone 8” and it is speculated to cost more than the current models.