Apple's next iPhone, iPhone 8, will use advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, suggests a new report.
The information comes from Tai Jeng-wu, president at Sharp, which supplies smartphone panels to Apple. Tai joined the Japanese electronics manufacturer as president and chief executive in August after Foxconn completed the acquisition of Sharp.
Tai told students at Tatung University: "The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels," states a report by Nikkei Asian Review.
"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," he said.
Compared to LTPS, OLED screens offer sharper colour contrast, and their flexibility allows manufacturers to create curved and foldable screens. So far, Samsung has been using curved OLED screens for its high-end models such as Galaxy S7 and Note 7, which the company discontinued after reported cases of battery exploding.
Although Tai did not specify when the iPhone will begin using OLED screens, he said, "We are now building a new [OLED] facility in Japan. We can make [OLED panels] in the US. too. If our key customer demands [that we] manufacture in the US, is it possible for us not to do so?"
The details about the OLED panels emerge amid reports suggesting that Apple is revamping the design of its next iPhone iteration for the device's tenth anniversary in 2107.
The recent Nikkei report states that Apple is planning at least three models of iPhone for next year. The premium device with a 5.5in screen is likely to sport a curved OLED screen, whereas the other two models might end up using the existing LTPS screen.
It was earlier speculated that Samsung might be the exclusive supplier of OLED screens for the 2017 iPhone series.