Japan Display executives are reportedly in negotiations with Apple about securing OLED orders for future iPhones, in an effort to compete with existing OLED panel suppliers Samsung Electronics and LG Display.
Japan Display, a joint venture formed in 2012 by Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba, is one of two major LCD display suppliers for current iPhones alongside rival Japanese company Sharp. Apple has used LCD panels for iPhones since the original model launched in 2007.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported last month that iPhones are unlikely to have OLED displays for at least the next three years, and Japanese website Nikkei confirmed that Apple plans to switch to OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018. Apple may continue to offer some iPhone models with LCD displays to fulfill demand.
OLED displays can provide sharper images, better color accuracy and brighter colors compared to LCD displays, but the technology generally has a shorter lifespan and higher manufacturing costs. Samsung's popular Galaxy-branded smartphones are equipped with AMOLED displays, as is the Apple Watch.
Should these supply chain rumors prove true, the so-called "iPhone 8" could be released in late 2018 as Apple's first smartphone equipped with an OLED display, based on the company's current naming and release cycle.
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