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iPhones could go OLED-only by 2019

Rumors say that the iPhone 8 will have an OLED screen. Could this become the new normal for Apple?

Goodbye LCD screens. Hello OLED?

Apple has reportedly considered moving its iPhones to OLED displays. And by 2019 every phone it releases could have an OLED screen, according to Korean-language publication The Bell.


The LCD screen on the iPhone 7 may become obsolete in a few years.

Sarah Tew/CNET

We've already heard rumors that Apple's iPhone 8 may feature an edge-to-edge OLED display. The company has even reportedly signed two multibillion dollar deals with Samsung to supply the AMOLED displays. So far, Apple has only used LCD displays for its iPhones. Rumors suggest that Apple will stick to LCD for the expected iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, but in a few years time OLED could become the new normal.

Alleged sources in Apple's supply chain claim that current OLED display production account for only 40 percent of this year's iPhones, reports The Bell. Next year, that percentage is expected to double, and then reach 100 percent in 2019. This report suggests that Apple will begin phasing out the old LCD displays until all new iPhones are released with OLED displays.

In order to keep up with Apple's demand, display manufacturers like Samsung, Interflex, and BH are expanding its factories in Asia, according to the report. OLED displays are a relatively new technology for phones, meaning they're still expensive and difficult to produce. This may be one reason for the iPhone 8's rumored high price. But if OLED factories are expanding and production becomes more streamlined, OLED displays could become the new standard for premium phones.

Manufacturers expect to start delivering the supply around April or May, The Bell reports.

Apple's manufacturers don't always know what Apple's true plans are, so take the OLED rumor with a grain of salt. If Apple does, in fact, transition to OLED-only iPhones, the iPhone 8 could give us the first real clue of what's to come.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.