Apple is long rumored to be working on curved display technology for its future iPhones. Now based on the latest reports, an iPhone with curved screen could debut as soon as next year when the company is expected to announce its anniversary edition iPhone 8. We have already seen the spilling displays on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones, however, it will be the first time Apple will incorporate the technology onto its iPhone.
A curved display, as seen on the Samsung smartphones, spills on the side edges of the device and can offer additional features such as app shortcuts. According to a report on the Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked its suppliers to increase output of thinner Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) and submit prototype screens with better resolution than ones from Samsung to differentiate its models. Back in March, it was reported by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities that the company was working on a curved glass casing. However, there is a lot of skepticism about inclusion of the technology in the upcoming iPhone 8.
Apple currently uses LCD technology for its iPhones but it is in talks with other display suppliers for newer models. According to a report on Patently Apple, Apple will likely rely on Samsung for most of its initial OLED supplies as the company is currently the market leader and only one of the few companies that can mass produce the displays. The company is also looking at LG Display, Japan Display, and Sharp to ramp up production to have supplies ready for 2018, people familiar with the matter said.
While Sharp’s progress with OLED displays promises to bear fruit by early next year, the kind of volume production expected out of it might take until 2018. With LG, Apple has an advantage as the company is already exploring technologies beyond just curved displays. The company is already working on foldable or flexible displays, an element which might prove advantageous as well as innovative for future Apple iPhones but unlikely to be introduced as soon as on the iPhone 8. Meanwhile, Japan Display is working on next-gen LCD panels which uses film rather than glass as the base material, offering them OLED-like flexibility, picture quality, and shelf life. ALSO READ: Here’s why only one Apple iPhone 8 variant will have OLED display
The upcoming Apple iPhone 8 is rumored to come in three different display sizes and according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, there will be two LCD models at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches and a third OLED model (with curved screen) at 5.8 inches. The OLED model is expected to have a smaller active display area between 5.1 and 5.2 inches.
Next year the iPhone will turn 10 and on the occasion of the anniversary, it is expected that Apple will introduce a major design overhaul and bring new features to its flagship device including a capacitive fingerprint sensor and re-introduce iPhone 4-like glass back panel. Other than the speculations surrounding the iPhone 8’s display, the smartphone is expected to support new type of ‘long-distance’ wireless charging – a technology which uses over-the-air electricity to low-power devices within a distance of one meter. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 could boast wireless charging modules built by Foxconn: Report