Just last week, a Nikkei-based report of Apple introducing three iPhone 8 variants in 2017 surfaced online. One of the three variants - a 5.5-inch variant that may bear the Plus moniker - was said to be a premium offering sporting an OLED display panel. Now, a fresh report further testifies Apple's interest in OLED panels, hinting that the iPhone 8 will finally introduce the shift away from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) displays.
Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple will be adopting OLED panels on the iPhone 8, and may also produce some of it in the US. Sharp President, CEO, and Director Tai Jeng-wu spoke about Apple's shift while addressing students at Tatung University.
This is of course, not the first time Apple has been said to be looking at OLED display technology for its next iPhone models, and back in September this year, the company was said to be in talks with Sharp for these displays. The latest report does seem to confirm this, while earlier reports had indicated Samsung may be the supplier for OLED display, while LG was another rumoured supplier.
"The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels. We don't know whether Apple's OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn't walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity," Jeng-wu said to Nikkei Asian Review.
Just to recap, Foxconn acquired Sharp last year and promoted Tai Jeng-wu as the CEO thereafter. For those unaware, Foxconn is the principle manufacturer of iPhones for Apple. He also mentioned future plans of Sharp, and even hinted that the company would manufacture the OLED displays in US if need be
"We are now building a new [OLED] facility in Japan. We can make [OLED panels] in the US too. If our key customer demands us to manufacture in the US, is it possible for us not to do so?" Jeng-wu said.
OLED displays are not only battery efficient, but even offers sharper colour contrast and deeper blacks. The only product in the Apple lineup to currently use OLED is the Apple Watch wearable. Apple's competitors like Samsung and LG have all started to use OLED displays in their smartphones, and it is only a matter of time before Apple joins the clan.
As mentioned, the iPhone 8 has been rumoured to come in three sizes - 4.7-inch, 5-inch, and 5.5-inch. It is expected to sport no Home Button, and the fingerprint sensor will be embedded directly into the display panel. It is also expected to have an edge-to-edge display with little to no chin on the top and bottom edges. Lastly, it is tipped to ditch metal, and sport an all-glass back casing.