Previous reports from publications like The Wall Street Journal, Commercial Times, The Korea Herald and Nikkei, including high-ranking sources at suppliers such as Sharp as well as research from analyst from Barclays Research and KGI Securities, have predicted that iPhone 8 would come outfitted with a 5.8-inch wraparound AMOLED panel protected by a curved 2.5 glass cover on the front much like the cover glass on the iPhone 6s/7 series of phones which have the slightly curved edges.
However, several sources interviewed by MacRumors think iPhone 8 will have a flat rather than a curved screen due to lower manufacturing cost and better yields.
IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam has predicted that iPhone 8 would use a flat implementation of OLED design which he says is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design currently used on the iPhone 6s/7 series. Lam is expecting an iPhone with a longer screen aspect ratio of 2:1, making the screen’s length double the size of its width.
“Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety,” he said, adding this new design is expected to become the trend for 2017.
For context, current iPhones have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Making the display’s length double the size of its width could allow for a better grip in terms of ergonomics though the iOS user interface might need to be adapted for the 2:1 screen ratio.
Display expert Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate explained that flat OLED screens based on a glass substrate “cost considerably less” and are “available in much higher production volumes” than their curved counterparts with a flexible plastic substrate.
“The existing iPhone 7 has 2.5D cover glass with a flat glass LCD display, so Apple could make a similar 2.5D OLED display using a glass substrate OLED display at lower cost and much higher production volumes,” he said.
Soneira and Lam are not alone in their predictions as Chinese research firm TrendForce recently said that Apple’s next high-end iPhone is expected to have the same 2.5D glass for display cover as the current models.
Should Apple give iPhone 8 a curved rather than flat display akin to Samsung’s Edge series? If so, why and what benefits could a curved screen potentially bring to users?
iPhone 8 with Dark Mode concept courtesy of UI designer Vianney le Masne.