Why Apple Might Not Add OLED Screens to All New iPhones Next Year


Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Marcio Jose Sanchez — AP

Not all models will get better screen technology.

The 2017 iPhone is not expected to hit the market for almost another year, but the upcoming device is already being buffeted by rumors of new features that will or will not be added.

Earlier this week, Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst with a reliable reputation for Apple leaks, warned that only a premium iPhone Plus model next year would include a superior OLED screen, while other models would continue with older LED screens.

Now comes some further explanation of why Apple would leave out one of the most desired new features from most 2017 models. Manufacturing OLED screens is difficult and Samsung, Apple’s supplier, will not be able to produce enough to meet demand for all iPhones next year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing anonymous sources. Other possible OLED screen suppliers LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display are also supply-constrained, the news service added.

 The supply crunch means Apple may not be able to entice or satisfy as many iPhone upgraders as analysts had anticipated. After this year’s iPhone 7 line basically retained the same exterior design and screen technology as models from the prior two years, analysts expected many Apple fans would wait until next year to upgrade.

Apple AAPL -0.72% is expected to unveil an iPhone with a completely redesigned exterior and many new features next year. Prior rumors suggested that the new iPhone will have an edge-to-edge display, eliminating the bezel, and a virtual on-screen home button.

Apple has improved the iPhone’s screen somewhat in recent years by increasing the range of colors it can show, making photos appear more lifelike for example. But the iPhone’s screen resolution of 750 pixels by 1334 pixels has not changed in the past three models.

Meanwhile, competitors like Samsung SSNLF -12.28% have been adding more pixels and using OLED to display sharper on-screen images, a far more noticeable upgrade than Apple’s color range improvement.

Why Apple Might Not Add OLED Screens to All New iPhones Next Year

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