Apple reportedly tasks Samsung with 100 million 5.5" AMOLED panels for a 2017 iPhone

Samsung 3-year contract with Apple for OLED displays
Well, well, well, what do we have here. The Chinese edition of the Wall Street Journal just cited a source out of Korea which claims that Apple has signed a 3-year contract with Samsung to supply it with OLED panels for future iPhones. So far, so good, this Samsung-Apple partnership, as well as the rumored OLED switch have been rumored for a while.

The new piece in this report, however, is how concrete it is in explaining the size and quantity of AMOLED displays that Apple has allegedly ordered Samsung to make, and the fact that their first use is scheduled for the eventual iPhone 7S next year. The source tips that Apple has tasked Samsung with producing no less than a 100 million 5.5" AMOLED panels, indicating that those are to be used in the larger, iPhone 7S Plus version, rather than the iPhone 7S, or whatever Apple decides to name it. Unless the current 4.7-inch display diagonal of the smaller iPhone grows up in size, that is, which we somehow doubt. Samsung has apparently set aside a whole production line at its Asan plant for the order.

The timing of the OLED iPhone release has also seemingly been moved forward in this report. So far, we've been hearing that Apple won't release such a handset before 2018 or 2019 at the earliest, including from reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Well, that same analyst is now singing the 2017 song, and not only corroborating today's story out of Korea that Apple will use AMOLED for at least one of its 2017 iPhone models, but also fleshing out the design overhaul as a return to the glass-metal fusion we had before the iPhone 6.

There is barely a large mobile display maker that hasn't been rumored to be in talks with Apple on OLED screen panels by now - Samsung, Sharp, JDI, AUO and LG have all been speculated already - so with today's story, it seems like a good bet that Apple will try and set the potential iPhone 7S Plus apart with the use of an AMOLED screen. Now, whether that one will be curved or flat, given that Samsung will be the chief supplier, remains a mystery, but something tells us that Apple won't have much distinctive use for a flexible OLED panel (even Samsung doesn't at the moment, Edge UX or not), while Samsung may want to keep at least a little differentiation for its own AMOLED-laden phones, too.

source: WSJ China

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