iPhone 8 to Sport OLED Display Only in Premium Variant Due to Supply Issues: Report

iPhone 8 to Sport OLED Display Only in Premium Variant Due to Supply Issues: Report
Highlights
  • Suppliers may not be able to match Apple's demands
  • Apple tipped to introduce OLED only in one model
  • iPhone 8 is pegged to have an edge-to-edge curved display

The iPhone 8 next year is said to come with big changes, the most exciting one being the shift to OLED screens. However, a fresh report says that Apple's suppliers are facing production issues, and this hurdle could force the Cupertino giant to abandon OLED display plans for all of iPhone 8 models - sticking to one.

Bloomberg reports that four main suppliers - Samsung, LG, Sharp, and Japan Display - are not ready to produce OLED in a sufficiently large capacity to make screens for all new iPhone models next year. In fact, the companies have said that the production limitations could continue well into 2018 as well.

If the production capacity is not met, Apple would be unable to introduce OLED screens in all the iPhone 8 models. The report states that Apple has already sealed an exclusive deal with Samsung for 1 million OLED displays, but it remains unsure whether Samsung will be able to fulfil the demand. The South Korean giant is reportedly having trouble managing its own smartphone lineup demands, and to meet Apple's bulk order would require it to ramp up production to another new level.

IHS Markit's supply chain analyst Dan Panzica told Bloomberg that Apple will have to succumb to its suppliers' constraints, and embed OLED displays in just one premium model. The other model will have to stick to the traditional LCD display seen on all the iPhone 7 models this year. Panzica also reiterated that the iPhone 8 will sport an all-glass back, and an edge-to-edge curved display screen with a virtual Home Button.

LG Display Chief Executive Officer Han Sang-Beom does admit that the company was a little late in developing OLED screens for smaller devices. The company ships OLED for television units, and has just recently made investments in OLED for smartphones. Even Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu said that their company is in the process of developing the technology, and its production capacity rests on whether they succeed or not. Jeng-Wu earlier had confirmed that Apple is making the shift to OLED screens on iPhone.

The iPhone 8 has been rumoured to sport an advanced wireless charging technology that will enable the iPhone to charge without the need of a charging plate. It is also tipped to sport a new A11 processor, and a new Touch ID system.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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