KGI: 70% likelihood that Apple will unveil 10.5″ iPad Pro at WWDC next month

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says there's over 70 percent likelihood that Apple's rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a redesigned chassis is formally announced at the June 5 WWDC keynote as suppliers are gearing up for volume production in early June.

In his Saturday research note to clients, titled “2017 WWDC highlights” and seen by MacRumors, the analyst wrote that Apple's engineers were able to squeeze a 10.5-inch display into a similar form factor to the existing 9.7-inch iPads due to the narrower side bezels on the upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro model.

Here's an excerpt from the note:

The newly designed 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a similar form factor to the 9.7-inch model, but will feature a larger display thanks to narrow bezels. The new design should improve the user experience and help gain traction in the corporate and commercial sectors.

He added that Foxconn will be assemble the new device, while GIS will be the sole supplier of touch panel modules. KGI forecast 10.5-inch iPad Pro shipments of five to six million units in fiscal 2017, accounting for fifteen percent of total fiscal 2017 iPad shipments.

The analyst did not specify if the upcoming device will have the traditional LCD screen or one based on AMOLED display technology like iPhone 8. For what it's worth, Kuo said in August 2016 that a “revolutionary” iPad model with flexible AMOLED panels and other “radical changes” in form factor design shouldn't be expected before 2018.

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For the sake of completeness, we should mentioned that KGI speculated last October that the device would sport the same 2,7320-by-2,048 pixel resolution as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the same pixel density as the iPad mini 4 at 326 pixels per inch.

At that resolution, the width of the 10.5-inch iPad model would be the same height as the current iPad mini models, meaning users could be able to run two full-sized windows side-by-side in iOS’s Split View multitasking mode.

Raymond Soneira, a display expert and president of DisplayMate Technologies, thinks that if the new 10.5-inch iPad shrinks the bezel and keeps the outside dimensions the same, then the display aspect ratio will increase from the current 1.33 to as high as 1.50.

“The screen area would then increase by up to 31 percent. However, with no bezel at all the screen diagonal would then be 11.2 inches for the same outside dimensions as the current 9.7-inch iPad model with the rounded corners,” he added.

WWDC kicks off with a keynote address at 10:00am Pacific Time on Monday, June 5.

Image: 9.7-inch iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch piece of paper overlaid via Dan Provost.

Some Galaxy S8 owners complaining about burnt-in pixels

Some owners of Samsung's nearly bezel-less Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones are complaining about burnt-in pixels in their AMOLED screens. According to web reports, the affected customers are seeing permanent discolorations in the lower part of Samsung's Infinity Display where the new virtual button resides, Korean outlet The Investor reported Monday.

Samsung likely to set up 7G flexible OLED factory

Samsung's display-making arm is likely to set up a seventh-generation manufacturing plant in South Korea solely dedicated to flexible OLED panel production, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported this morning citing UBI Research. Samsung Display produces more than 90 percent of all OLED panels for smartphones and tablets. The company is expected to churn out OLED panels for iPhone 8 on an exclusive basis until rivals Sharp, LG Display and Japan Display join the mix in 2018 and 2019.

iPhone 8 may have physical slit within OLED display for embedded earpiece

Purported technical measurements for iPhone 8 that surfaced Monday on iFanr, a site without an established track record, would have us believe that Apple will ship a handset come this fall with a physical slit at the top of its OLED screen for an embedded earpiece and possibly other integrated components, like a 3D camera and sensors.

Not only should the top speaker of iPhone 8 be cut through the glass cover, but the OLED panel itself. Many bloggers and outlets that reported on the story have noted that this may not even be possible.

Nikkei: Apple places order for 70 million bendable OLEDs for iPhone 8 with Samsung

Apple has placed a huge order for seventy million bendable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels with Samsung's display-making arm for use in iPhone 8, Nikkei reported Monday. Apple and Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, signed a deal last year to supply 100 million OLEDs for iPhone 8. In February 2017, Apple contracted Samsung to build an additional 60 million OLEDs for a total of 160 million units in 2017.

New report says iPhone 8 has a slightly curved display at the edges below 2.5D cover glass

Nikkei Asian Review yesterday shot down predictions by IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam and DisplayMate expert Dr. Raymond Soneira who said Apple's 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will use a flat rather than a curved display. However, MacRumors has allegedly confirmed with multiple people familiar with the matter that the phone will indeed come outfitted with a mostly flat AMOLED display.

The device's display will reportedly feature slightly curved left and right edges in order to conform with the layer of 2.5D glass that covers the screen.

iPhone 8 may have (slightly) curved screen after all

Contradicting a recent report, Japanese outlet Nikkei Asian Review wrote Wednesday that Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone will have a display based on active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology that's slightly curved on the sides, but not as curved as Samsung's Galaxy series.

A source familiar with the handset's design said the curve of the iPhone 8 screen will be “gentler” than the screen curvature of Samsung's Edge handsets because of the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens.

Concept: bezel-less iPhone 8 with wraparound AMOLED screen and Dark Mode

Following a concept video from Polish blog My Apple imagining what a system-wide Dark Mode in iOS 11 (along with a few other sought-after rumored features) might look like, user interface designer Vianney le Masne has taken it upon himself to put together some great-looking mockups depicting how iPhone 8's rumored OLED screen and the handset's bezel-less design could be leveraged to implement Dark Mode across iOS and in apps.

“With Dark Mode in iOS for the next iPhone, 2017 could be all about killing the four sides of your screen and making it all about your thumb,” said le Masne.

Nikkei corroborates iPhone 8 has 5.8″ OLED screen, iPhone 7s/Plus to use LCD panels

Nikkei Asian Review in a research note Monday corroborated previous reports which said that only a brand new iPhone 8 model would switch to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, with the two smaller models—iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus—expected to retain their existing LCD panels.

Korean publication The Bell also said this morning that about forty percent of 2017 iPhones would have OLED screens, predicting that all new iPhones introduced in 2019 would sport power-sipping OLEDs.

Apple evaluating Chinese display maker BOE’s AMOLED panels for future iPhones

Samsung Display is said to be the lone supplier of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for future iPhones, at least until Foxconn-owned Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display ramp up production of the sophisticated foldable display panels. That said, Apple is looking to address a global shortage of OLEDs by negotiating a deal with yet anther supplier.

That company has been identified as the Chinese display maker BOE, which is expected to supply active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display panels for future iPhone models. According to Bloomberg News, Apple’s been evaluating BOE’s AMOLED screens for months now.