As Apple gears up for the iPhone's 10th anniversary next year, a new report from South Korea indicates that the company will be making the iPhone 8's organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens curved and the display panels will be supplied by Samsung Display.
According to earlier reports, the company has plans to make two versions of its upcoming iPhone 8 available in 2017 — liquid crystal display (LCD) and OLED. While LCD display will be flat panels made of glass, the OLED models will have curved screens made of plastic.
"The OLED version of the new iPhone will all be curved as Apple ordered all plastic OLED — not glass — from Samsung Display. Samsung is capable of supplying a little less than 100 million units of curved OLED displays to Apple," a source told The Korea Herald.
While there are lots of differences in the way an OLED panel and an LCD panel works, the most fundamental one is that each pixel provides its own illumination in an OLED screen, while all of the pixels in an LCD screen are illuminated by an LED backlight.
Phones like the Galaxy S7 Edge have used this type of curved panels supplied by Samsung's own subsidiary Samsung Displays. Samsung Display's OLED capacity for Apple is estimated at around 70 million to 100 million units, which is less than half of Apple's annual sales of the iPhone series of around 200 million. This indicates that close to 100 million units of the iPhone 8 may sport LCD flat panels. For these panels, Apple is reported to be relying on LG displays and JDI.
The report also clears the air about vague rumours of the iPhone 8 being flexible and says the device will not be foldable. In addition, Apple will not have the same hardware on the iPhone 8 OLED version like the Galaxy series from Samsung, which was the first mainstream model to adopt curved panels among smartphones.