Apple is said to have more than ten different iPhone 8 prototypes under development

By , Nov 28, 2016

iPhone 7 Plus High Resolution

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple has as many as ten different iPhone 8 prototypes under development, including a higher-priced model with an advanced display based on power-saving organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology that multiple industry sources, analysts and supply chain makers have been talking about for months now.

Asian suppliers have been asked to increase output of thinner OLED displays and submit prototype screens “with better resolution than ones from Samsung” to Apple.

“An iPhone with an OLED screen could be introduced as one of several models to be unveiled,” said people familiar with the matter. The OLED iPhone would have a higher price because OLEDs could be up to $50 more expensive to produce than LCDs.

The California company may ultimately decide against releasing the OLED iPhone as that device is “one of more than 10 prototypes being considered.”

Because OLED technology does not require a backlight component to illuminate the screen like the traditional LCDs, the OLED iPhone may further improved battery life because the display is the biggest power draw in mobile devices.

Display makers are welcoming Apple’s decision to build the OLED iPhone given it typically pre-pays components and could add billions of dollars to their sales. The market for OLEDs for smartphones should zoom past the LCD market in 2017 to reach an IHS Markit-estimated $18.6 billion. In 2015, revenue in the smartphone LCD market reached $20.8 billion compared with $10.6 billion for the OLED market.

Multiple suppliers are expected to provide OLEDs for the next iPhone, led by Samsung Display which spent close to $10 billion this year alone to expand its OLED production and research and development.

LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp will also build OLEDs for Apple devices but these companies are currently struggling with yields and are not expected to ramp up production in order to have OLEDs ready in volume before 2018.

LG Display plans to invest close to $3 billion by 2018 to expand its production of smartphone OLED screens and the ailing Japanese consumer electronics giant Sharp would need to spend north of $5 billion to supply enough OLED panels to Apple.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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  • Diego Milano

    I have an iPhone 6s Plus and if I don’t see OLED in the next device iteration, I just won’t upgrade.
    The iPhone 7 was truly a disappointment, so I’m hoping Apple catches up with everything they are behind on. I do believe Apple will do it because there are already so many reports stating the next iPhone will not be iPhone 7s rather they will go straight to the iPhone 8 labeling, so in order to do this they’ll have to add several milestones to the upcoming device.

    • Jeffrey

      An OLED screen is nice, but to make not having an OLED screen a deal-breaker? That’s just exaggerating in my opinion… The iPhone LCD screens are one of the best and sharpest displays currently on smartphones (not saying top 3, more top 5-10). It’s not like an OLED display will make that much of a difference or change the way you use your phone… First world problems I guess…

      • Diego Milano

        It’s not an exagerattion, rather just my own personal opinion on how I choose my upgrades based on hardware. It’s no mystery that Apple is a bit behind in some things related to hardware and it’s purely because they like to keep the good things under the sleeve for as long as sales aren’t declining (which already happened for the first time).
        By the way, I never declared it was a “problem” at all. 🙂 Being born in Argentina and still living there, I would just limit myself to say this is far from being the first world, and even farther from being a problem, haha. Cheers.

      • Jeffrey

        Yeah that’s true, you have the right to have that opinion just like everyone else ;). And yup, Apple have sure lacked hardware innovation the past couple of years, and I sure do hope that that changes with the iPhone 8 (maybe TRUE wireless charging).

      • Diego Milano

        Yeah, I sure have high expectations for next year’s iPhone, man. I hope they don’t bring us down with some tiny bits of improvements.

      • Jeffrey

        Hahah, yeah I have faith in that Apple will make this update a big one, but I’m not confident and yet curious about the years after that for Apple…

      • rockdude094

        You’re the type who is a typical fan boy. If Apple is gonna take my 1000+ dollars I better get the latest and greatest tech that is available on the market or else I’m taking my cash somewhere else.. idc I’m not a brand loyal sheep. I judge all phones equally. Apple has a great echo system and its a shame that their hardware is sub par compared to industry standards

      • Jeffrey

        Lol, even though I have an Apple logo as my profile picture (because I only made/use Disqus for iDB) I am everything but a typical Apple fanboy, I like Apple and it’s product, yes, but I ALWAYS give my honest opinion about everything (Apple related or not). Are Apple products overpriced? Absolutely, no question. Is Apple the most innovative tech company in the world? Definately not. Does Apple give their new products/software useless and/or already existing on Android devices features? Yeah, they do. But when I say that I think making screen technology a deal-breaker is exaggeration, I am fully honest and that has nothing to do with it being Apple. Because like I said, the iPhone screen is already beautiful, and I mean that. And yeah, I do admit that OLED screens are oh-so freaking beautiful, but I don’t think it should be a deal-breaker.

        And no, I’m not a sheep either, I’ll even say that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is better in so much ways; battery life, charging time, screen, camera, design. But what I love about Apple is it’s ecosystem. While it doesn’t have all the capabilities and features of Android (or other OS’s), I love the design, simplicity, collaboration with the hardware, speed and it’s unity between OS’s.

        At last, I honestly judge all phones equally as well. If iOS was available for current Android devices too, I’d probably have bought a Samsung Galaxy S7, but it isn’t, so I’m more than happy to spend a little (or a lot lol) extra for the ecosystem of Apple. And like you most likely know, the iPhone is available from $649, so there’s no need to spend $1000+ on an iPhone ;).

        Sorry for the long answer, hope it was worth reading, but I just had to explain my point of view.

      • Diego Milano

        I only own an iPhone though; I can’t justify any budget for getting a Mac even though I would love to, but in Argentina even the entry-level iOS device costs around 1000-1300 dollars (taxes, etc.), the entry-level Mac would take up roughly 2000-2500 dollars at the least. ☹️
        I definitely agree with you that the iPhone excels in most grounds, and I greatly appreciate how smooth it performs from a software/hardware standpoint.
        Like I said, I am not planning to upgrade next year unless they roll out some truly groundbreaking technology (and OLED or microLED would be much appreciated as well). I think everyone owns their own pocket and thus can set their own conditions as to whether to buy a product or not, whether that’s an exaggeration or just an opinion, it’s as valid as anyone else’s around here, since I respect everyone else’s for the same reason.

      • James Fame

        Not sure what the issue is? The specifications for the iphone 7’s screen as teated by ‘displaymate’ show the screen out performs all other mobile displays in numerous atrributes. Infact it sets records for displays accross all devices from tv’s to mobiles. I agree with jeffrey, people and thier first world problems

      • Diego Milano

        Well, a LCD display can only compete with LCD displays; you can’t compare apples with bananas cause it is a different technology and it’s expected to perform differently to no surprise.
        Don’t get me wrong, I always loved the iPhone displays, but it can perform better in terms of contrast and other quality and accuracy factors as well as battery life, undeniably, which is what I meant to say.