Why Apple may ship just one OLED iPhone next year

Display supply might not meet Apple's demand.

Long-time Apple watchers have speculated that next year’s iPhones will move from LCD to OLED displays, but this week a strange rumor emerged from a reliable Apple analyst: Next year, Apple will release three iPhones, and only one of them will have an OLED display.

Now we know why that could be. Apple would love to bring OLED to its entire iPhone lineup, but the supply isn’t there, Bloomberg reported. OLED display makers Samsung, Sharp, LG, and Japan Display are working to produce panels, but Sharp and Japan Display won’t kick production into high gear until 2018. LG is also lagging after spending years making OLED displays for television.

According to Bloomberg, that leaves Samsung, which has an exclusive agreement to produce OLED displays for iPhones next year. But Apple sells a ton of phones: The company has reportedly put in an order for 100 million units to prep for next year’s holiday quarter, and Samsung might not be able to make enough. It might not even be able to produce half that amount. Last year, Apple sold 75 million iPhones over the holidays, and if Samsung can’t pull through, then the company won’t be able to put OLED displays in every phone.

The 10th anniversary OLED iPhone

Apple is reportedly prepping an all-glass 5.5-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display. The company plans to ditch the bezel and embed the Home button directly in the screen. (Am I the only one envisioning the Monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey? OK, carry on.)

If Apple introduced OLED in just one model of the next-generation iPhone, it would be a surprising departure, though not without precedent—with the iPhone 7 Plus, the company put a dual-lens camera system in just one phone. But displays are a different story. An edge-to-edge OLED screen would fundamentally change the iPhone experience.

Of course, display suppliers could come through and enable Apple to overhaul its entire lineup. But with this week’s spate of rumors, it seems like the company is establishing expectations for a lone OLED iPhone.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Applesamsung

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Caitlin McGarry

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?