Apple's OLED iPhone displays may come from a Chinese supplier

Apple is reportedly looking for ways to meet high demand for expensive and hard-to-make OLED screens.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

Think that LCD screens are out and OLED displays are totally in right now? Apple may be with you.

The iPhone 8 is already rumored to be getting curved OLED displays, and Apple is allegedly working to secure the tech from suppliers. We originally heard that Samsung Display would supply the majority of OLED screens, but now there are whispers that Apple could consider Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology Group as a potential supplier, according to Bloomberg. It isn't clear if this would be in addition to Samsung or instead of it.

OLED (or AMOLED) screen technology is known for high contrast ration and deep blacks. And a curved-screen OLED screen would help the 10th anniversary iPhone stand out. Comparatively, OLED screens are more expensive. With manufacturers like Samsung putting OLED screens on their smartphones (like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8), demand may exceed what suppliers can make.

Apple has been reportedly testing out BOE's OLED displays, but is still in the very early stages of deciding whether it should draft BOE as a supplier, according to Bloomberg. If Apple does contract BOE, some doubt that they'll make it in time for a September iPhone 8 launch. Instead, BOE could supply OLED displays for next year's iPhone or future generations, which would also suggest that more OLED iPhones are on the way in the coming years.

To meet this potential surge in demand, BOE is reportedly building two OLED plants in southwest China.

As Apple works on its next big iPhone, check out CNET for all the juicy details and rumors. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Watch this: Curved iPhone 8? Apple said to be exploring OLED screens