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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?