iPhone display supplier Japan Display has devised new manufacturing processes for mass production of flexible liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. According to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Apple is considering using flexible LCD panels in iPhones launching in 2018 and beyond.
This is an interesting development in light of rumors that iPhone 8 will be equipped with a flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen. While not as flexible as curved OLED panels, Japan Display’s new processes do allow for the creation of bendable LCDs that support designs like Samsung’s curved-screen Galaxy Edge series.
According to Japanese outlet Nikkei Asian Review, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou told journalists who attended his company’s end-of-year corporate party that Foxconn is considering a joint investment with Apple topping $7 billion for a highly automated display facility in the United States.
Apple’s key suppliers—iPhone assembler Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp—say that rumored plans calling for establishing an LCD manufacturing plant in the United States are “still on the table”. Company officials made that comment in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s “Make in America” call, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported Friday.
An unnamed Sharp executive told Nikkei that such a decision must be made “carefully”.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is on a roll this morning with a litany of reports pertaining to Apple’s next-generation 2017 iPhone refresh. According to another note issued to clients this morning, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo says he expects the Cupertino firm to slash prices of both 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone models next year.
That’s because those iPhones are expected to continue using legacy LCD technology. By lowering prices for those models, Apple might potentially regain some of the market share lost to more affordable Android handsets.
A late evening report from Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan has shed a bit of light on Apple’s plans regarding the future of its display technology for iPhones, iPads, and other devices. Culpan’s report shows that Apple has opened a secret lab within a Taiwanese science park, and has no less than 50 engineers working on advanced versions of LCD and OLED display technology.
Apple’s goal, according to the report, is to create screens that are thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient than the screen technology used in current production iPhones and iPads. The report emphasized Apple’s keen interest in OLED technology in particular, since it requires no backlight, a fact that can help meet the improvements in energy efficiency and thinness that the Cupertino firm is seeking.
In its never-ending quest of engineering ever thinner and lighter devices, Apple is said to use smaller LED backlighting chips that could, at least theoretically, make the next iPhone(s)—you guessed right— smaller and lighter.
Citing a TrendForce report, DigiTimes said Tuesday that next-generation ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ will adopt smaller LED chips for the display’s backlight unit. The new chips reportedly measure three mm wide, 0.85mm tall and 0.4mm deep versus the 3.0mm x 0.85mm x 0.6mm chips used in the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.
It appears that the bad blood between Apple and Samsung isn’t enough to keep the two from working together. Despite previous reports that the iPad-maker is trying to distance itself from its rival, it has reportedly returned a large chunk of its LCD panel business back to Samsung…
A newspaper report yesterday by a South Korean media outlet spread like a wildfire across the blogosphere. It has been asserted that Samsung, Apple’s fierce rival in mobile and its major supplier of components, will cease selling displays to the Cupertino, California iPhone maker, reportedly because Samsung’s components arm dubbed Samsung Display no longer sees Apple as “a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker’s stiffer supply-chain management structure”. Now it appears Samsung has basically denied the story and asked The Korea Times newspaper to revise its false report…