Apple has been rumoured to introduce OLED panels to mark its ten-year anniversary for quite a while now. The company has also been reported to face supply issues, refraining it from introducing the battery efficient panel across all variants. It is expected to launch three devices, out of which, one premium variant only will sport OLED panels, while the others will stick to LCDs for now. A fresh report also reiterates this claim, and sheds light on the future of display makers because of this strategic shift to OLED by Apple.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple will introduce three variants next year. The first two will be successors of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with upgrades in hardware and software – and will be called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. These will continue to sport LCD panels, at least for next year. There will be a third premium variant which will adopt OLED panels and feature significant changes marking the ten year anniversary. It is only in 2018 that all iPhone models will offer OLED displays, the report adds.
This third variant is expected to sport an edge-to-edge OLED display with curved edges. It is said to get rid of the Home Button altogether and embed the fingerprint sensor and the Home Button underneath the display. All of this is mere speculations and early rumours, so we recommend you to take it lightly.
In any case, Samsung is reportedly the only major supplier for these small screen OLEDs making it difficult for Apple to shift to OLED on all variants. But LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display have all ramped up efforts to scale up their OLED production and should be ready to produce in mass quantities by 2018. This means that Apple could eventually bring OLED in all variants, but for next year, only one variant will get it.
For those latecomers coming in 2018, the investment of billions into OLED effort may never bear fruit as the sudden influx of supply may bring the price down cutting down profit margins. The report states that LG could see negative financial numbers for the next two years, and even in the future their gain to make up for the losses is not certain.