Rumors of Apple equipping future iPhones with OLED displays have been circling for quite a while, but most of them suggested that such an iPhone wouldn’t arrive until around 2018 or 2019. However, a new report out of China claims that Apple will actually release the long-awaited OLED iPhone in 2017, which aligns with separate reports that the company started talking to LG and Samsung about OLED displays back in December. It’s reasonable to assume that the faster-than-expected transition to OLED displays is a response to shrinking iPhone sales, and is Apple’s attempt to increase interest in its smartphones.
According to a new report Chinese news organization Nikkei, Apple is currently planning to introduce the first iPhone with an OLED display in 2017. In the past, it has been rumored that Apple was aiming to use OLED technology by 2018 or 2019, but today’s report claims that Apple is ahead of schedule and plans to ship an OLED iPhone next year. Apple reportedly started reaching out to display providers Samsung and LG last December to get a timeframe on increasing OLED display production and to see if it would be possible to reach production levels high enough to ship an OLED iPhone by 2017, which Reuters reported at the time. Apple is said to be near a deal with Samsung and LG upwards of $12 billion. While it has been reported in the past that Apple would pair the launch of an iPhone with an OLED display with redesigned curved build, this report claims that since the company is looking to change displays sooner than expected, that may not happen. Apple generally only changes the design of its devices every other year, meaning that if the iPhone 7 is released this year, we’ll see a largely similar iPhone 7s next year with an unchanged design. To make up for the lack of design change, Apple often changes the components of the device, which in this case could perhaps include the display technology. This logic is somewhat complicated, however, by reports claiming the iPhone 7 will feature a design largely the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.