With rumours swirling that Apple's iPhone 8 could pack a Samsung-made OLED display, a new report has suggested that the Cupertino giant is looking to another display maker for its OLED iPhones from 2018 onwards.
The supplier in question is BOE Technology, a Chinese company that is upscaling its display output by investing $14.5bn to build two OLED plants in Sichuan, China with the aim of providing backlit, flexible AMOLED displays.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is eyeing said displays as a long-term solution and is currently testing its output ahead of a potential agreement that would see future iPhones carry BOE's panels.
Of particular note is the suggestion that BOE hopes to produce 1.6 million square-metres of flexible AMOLED glass each year – a number that dwarfs production estimates from other companies – although it is unclear how much this depends on it securing Apple's stamp of approval.
Apple is expected to reveal an OLED-sporting high-end iPhone later this year in celebration of the smartphone's 10th anniversary. While at least one other variant is also rumoured to be in the works with an LCD panel, it has been suggested that the premium edition will feature an AMOLED screen produced by Samsung Display.
A shipment of over 100 million units of OLED displays has reportedly been agreed between the Samsung's subsidiary company and Apple for the 2017 iPhone. But while those could eschew the type of curved form factor seen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, BOE's batch could see the entirety of Apple's future iPhones with OLED displays, perhaps even ones with curved edges or a flexible design?
Conflicting rumours have previously suggested that Apple could be turning to Micro-LED technology as a long-term OLED alternative. The iPhone maker invested heavily in Micro-LED in 2014 when it acquired LuxVue Technology – a company that has previously filed multiple Micro-LED patents.