Apple may switch to OLED iPhones in 2018 – a year earlier than predicted

Do you remember how we told you this March that Apple might switch to using OLED screens in all iPhones it produces, by 2019? Well, we’ve received some news from Nikkei today that suggests we could see an OLED-only iPhone lineup, as early as the second half of 2018.

With regards to what we can expect this year, Taipei-based Yutana Investment Consulting has said that it expects that Apple would ship up to 90 million units by the end of 2017, half of which will sport an OLED setup. You know what this means, right?

It means that Nikkei’s allegation from March this year, and many others’ afterwards, that Apple will release an anniversary OLED iPhone, could indeed prove correct. The recent report suggests that, apart from the premium iPhone 8, Cupertino will launch two LCD devices this autumn, which could turn out to be the last of their kind to sport liquid crystals, instead of organic light-emitting diodes in their displays.

It’s worth to say that the report explicitly states that it’s ‘tentative’ that the full switch to OLED will indeed happen by the end of 2018, but apparently there’s still a possibility. Should Apple truly move to OLED displays for the iPhone in 2018, some tipsters have suggested it may struggle to source all needed panels, as production may not be on par with demand.

It is also unclear whether Samsung is to be Apple’s exclusive partner for the manufacturing of OLED display units. It is expected that the iPhone-maker will continue to source LCD screens from Sharp and JDI, but we have no information as to how or if their partnership will develop in the light of Apple’s OLED switch. On a separate note, earlier reports suggested that Samsung is going to double its OLED output in 2018, in order to meet demand for iPhone 9 screens, but now it seems that more iPhone models will benefit from an OLED display next year.

Two things are kind of clear, though. First, we are beginning to see the potential in Samsung’s 2-year-long, $9 billion-worth OLED supply deal with Apple, as Cupertino’s move to OLED iPhones could come earlier than expected. Secondly, we have yet another not-so-unreliable indication that Apple has an OLED anniversary handset in the kitchen. So get your forks and knives! Or credit cards…

Source: Nikkei via MacRumours



1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

That's good news for Samsung, the OEM of the OLED display for the iPhone... Just bring your money already, Apple!

2. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

Good news for Apple too!

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Yeah, it's good news for Apple too... :)

6. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Odd, I was under the impression that one of the big changes for this year's iPhone was that it was going to be an OLED screen. Man, I must be really behind in the news.

21. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

Your part right. The word is that just the iPhone 8 or whatever it's going to be called was going to be OLED this year. The 7s and 7s plus where still going to be LCD. At least that's what pookie and them on the corner told me

9. Papa_Ji

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Happy to see is gearing up to clear outdated AMOLED stock....I think apple is best client for those outdated 720p panels.

3. TechGirl90 unregistered

In my opinion OLED/AMOLED Technology should not be used on Smartphones, this Technology is better suited for Televisions because 99 percent of what you're viewing changes, the Content doesn't remain static (logos on Networks are an exception), unlike on Smartphones where 99 percent of what you're viewing is Static Content and will put a strain on the Diodes causing them to wear much quicker than on Televisions. LCD Technology should stay on Smartphones, and OLED/AMOLED Technology should be on Televisions.

4. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

We will have OLED/AMOLED on both Phones and TVs.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Everything evolves. Besides 99% of what people are viewing is not static. Maybe for you and your smartphone it's static. However lots of kids and even adults play lots of games, watch YouTube videos, VR, use social media like Instagram and much more.

10. TechGirl90 unregistered

Let me explain, Example, you open YouTube on a AMOLED/OLED Panel and watch a video, there's still static Elements like the Youtuber's Icon that shows on the bottom left of the video, if you were to read comments while watching a video, there's a mixture of Static Elements. Video games have a mixture of Static and Non-Static Elements, ("Punch Quest" for Example). 99 Percent of what you're viewing on a Smartphone is indeed Static, there's no Element that remains entirety animated on the Panel. This Technology I feel is still in it's Infant stages for Smartphones.

12. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

I don't see any static YouTuber icon when watching YouTube videos on my OnePlus, at least not in full-screen, which is the way most watch YouTube videos. When reading comments and watching the video at the same time, you'll be scrolling through the comments, so, nothing will be static long enough to 'cause any burn in. Not even the white borders, as you have thin grey lines separating the comments. Video games, usually just the borders surrounding the game scene remain static, and they definitely don't make up 99% of the game. Plus, you'll be progressing through the stages faster than it takes to 'cause a burn in in most games. The only thing static on my OnePlus is the status bar, and that can be automatically hidden if it's such a concern. I think OLED is the future, and it keeps proving to be the best display tech currently on a Smartphone according to reviewers, awards, and to my personal eyes.

19. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

In fullscreen mode there is nothing static, other than an occasional logo from a particular channel/youtuber. Not sure where this theory comes from. Even when browsing, my status bar is hidden, so static time of any pixel is minimal at worst.

24. TechGirl90 unregistered

I stated in my initial response that logos on Youtuber's Channels is still Static which should've easily been interpreted by you on what I was implying by that statement. I didn't say 100 Percent of what you're viewing on Smartphones is Static, I said 99 Percent as to where the 1 Percent there are instances of what the User is viewing is Static Images with some animated elements on certain Applications, and it's not a Theory (which means a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation), it's a Fact.

26. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

I have slight burn-in on my 2 years old screen it's not bad at all I barelly notice it. Meanwhile watching black on LCD make me want to puke everytime.

28. TechGirl90 unregistered

I see this argument too much, just because your device didn't experience burn in (but only slightly, which is still an issue in my book), doesn't mean everybody had the same outcome with their AMOLED/OLED powered devices. This is a link from a Redditor who already experienced burn in on his S8. And other Users in that Thread are having the same problem, this Display Technology is Premature for Mobile Devices, have we ever stopped and asked ourselves why AMOLED/OLED isn't really on Desktop and Laptop Computers? Think about that for a second. LCDs may not have the capability of turning off individual pixels to give off the truly black screen, but LCDs have better display longevity than AMOLED/OLED due to the organic materials used to manufacture AMOLED/OLED while LCDs use artificial materials.

16. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Disagreed. Benefits of (AM)OLED for phones are paramount: - better contrast means better readability in direct sunlight - better contrast under an angle means it's easier to share content amount a group of viewers - lower brightness means easier on the eyes in low light/darkness without sacrificing contrast - option to partially turn off/on the screen is better suited for AOD than LCD (more efficient, no bleeding) -faster response times makes it a must for VR use - more efficient for mixed content at this point, especially videos, images etc. The main downside being uneven aging of (colored) pixels, is much less of a downside for phones than TV's, since the former have a lifespan that is usually not more than 3 to 4 years, where TV's are often used much longer. LG solved it with white pixels for TV's, but the required color filter sacrifices brightness. Not wanted for phones.

27. TechGirl90 unregistered

Efficiency with AMOLED/OLED has a ceiling, meaning if you view Content with bright elements, all the diodes on the Panel will emit light causing the battery to be negatively affected by the display driver pushing those diodes, granted depending on how long you're in that Application that shows bright Elements. With this technology only on Televisions there will be a balance between bright elements and dark elements, the diodes won't be affected as quickly compared to this Technology being on Smartphones due to the constant changing of elements on Televisions.

29. MartyvH

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

This is true, the short service life of phones greatly mitigates the downsides of OLED. Besides, I am completely sold on OLED after the utterly magic, witchcrafty blacks on my AMOLED Tab S2. I can't believe it's real. Watching YouTube in the dark, only sometimes can I see any difference at all between the screen and bezel.

22. penguinbelly

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

99% of smartphone content is static? What do you do with your phone?

25. TechGirl90 unregistered

I talk, text, read, watch videos, I play some games.

7. fyah_king unregistered

More like years

14. ahmuzencab

Posts: 192; Member since: May 12, 2017

The whole industry is. Don’t be ignorant. microLED is the future, and is expected to ship with the next gen Apple Watch, according to the rumor mill.

17. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

microLED is better on paper, until you start producing it, where the production methods required actually reduce their lifespan much further than what currend AMOLED is capable of. Hence why the promise from many years ago, has faded into mostly silence. It will be many years still, before we see (the benefits of) it.

18. ahmuzencab

Posts: 192; Member since: May 12, 2017

OLED it is, then.

11. Chaise unregistered

Finally Apple doing something right. Good news for customers.. and I guess for companies too...

13. Tipus

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

So basically apple fanbois will be buying so much hated samsung phones :)))

15. ahmuzencab

Posts: 192; Member since: May 12, 2017

Micro LED please. Enough of this OLED rubbish

20. michaelny2001

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

it seems OLED is the future. at least for now. Not trying to instigate anything, i just remember reading coments from Ios users saying howmuch more accurate is the LED. I wonder what would these hardcore people say now. lol I personally love not being brand loyal. I find that deals just come to me. A year or 2 i use the iphone, then switch to samsung, now i am on OP3, which i really love. Very close to iphone is usage and speed overall. I think Samsung should learn from those. Most users don't want hundreds of features, just pure android. Oh well, to each their own.

23. penguinbelly

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

I kind of wish Apple stayed with LCD. Sheeple do not deserve OLED screens. XD

30. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

With every new rumor that passes, Apple is just becoming more and more Android, Oled displays, a file manager and the whole redesign thing, bigger displays... And the very very hypocritical sheep

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