While it’s yet to unveil its 2017 iPhones, Apple is already beginning “earlier than usual” development of its biggest ever iPhone models for 2018 with 5.85 and 6.46-inch OLED panels.

“The development schedule has been advanced considering diverse factors such as funding, facility investment and production plans,” an anonymous industry source told ET News.

Apple’s reportedly started development work with Samsung Display and other parts supplier earlier than usual. “Work for this year’s iPhone started in April, also earlier than usual,” noted the report. Samsung Display is said be the sole supplier of OLED panels for 2018 iPhones.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

Sources said Apple until recently considered launching 5.28-inch and 6.46-inch OLED iPhones next year but the plan for the 5.28-inch model was ditched due to the growing consumer demand for bigger-screen phones and related technical progress such as full-screen display.

5.58 inches is said to be roughly the same screen size of the upcoming iPhone 8. If the company is indeed planning to carry over the same form factor, which would make sense, than the rumored 6.46-inch model could be Apple’s Plus version of the upcoming iPhone 8 that could target the market dominated by Samsung’s largest-screened devices like the Note series.

Today’s report corroborates a May 2017 story published by The Korea Herald, which said that Samsung Display would supply 5.28 and 6.46-inch OLED panels for next year’s iPhone models.

“The two companies have recently signed a non-disclosure agreement on general conditions, including the screen size,” according to that report. “Other details such as screen design and functions could be adjusted considering the phone is still under development.”

iPhone 8 mockup via Dutch 3D artist Martin Hajek.

  • Jamessmooth

    YES! Was hoping a Plus sized iPhone 8 was gonna happen. I really hope it does!

  • burge

    “The two companies have recently signed a non-disclosure agreement on general conditions, including the screen size,” according to that report. “Other details such as screen design and functions could be adjusted considering the phone is still under development.”

    so this is to be taken with a pitch on salt then.

  • ravinigga

    I hope now LG displays no more over saturated colors.
    But I think Apple add true tone on their current display and 120hz

  • Jon20

    Damn. I didn’t know they were going for the 6+ inch market. I thought the new iPhone 8 form factor was supposed to replace the iPhone 6+ size. Maybe I’ll wait for that one.

  • Howards_cat_Tarzan

    In real life: Iphone development are 3 generations ahead. For example the next SoC in the next iPhone have to be FINALIZED minimum 9 month before release. Iphone 2018 hardware is already almost finalized. The 2019 hardware is in sourcing stage and 2020 is in design stage.

    Tim is evil. Raised prices 40% on iPhones. Iphone 2017 will be same size as last year but larger screen. This is done so a new “plus” model can be released next year and add ANOTHER 100 dollars. FSCK Tim.

    • CaptainHappy

      I see where you’re coming from but, personally, I doubt it.

      I suspect that this years OLED iPhone is being built and sold so that next years iPhones can be sold at the traditional price. The manufactures need to make the production of the screens, 3D cameras, etc.. more efficient (better yields). However, they will need to be manufacturing at scale NOW to perfect their processes and accomplish this. Component failure rate at the manufacturing stage is likely one of the key reasons this years iPhone is going to be so expensive.