As the rumor mill heats up around Apple’s exploration of OLED displays for a future iPhone, a new report says that the company has tapped both LG and Samsung to supply the displays. According to Korean outlet, Electronic Times, Apple is close to finalizing a deal with both companies to supply OLED display panels for an upcoming iPhone.
The deal is reported to be worth a combined $12.8 billion (15 trillion won), and both firms are said to be planning to build up production capacity over the next two to three years in order to meet demand. It’s unclear which future iPhone may see the addition of an OLED panel, but it is pretty clear it won’t be in time for next year’s iPhone 7, given the reported timeline. A report from last month pegged the possibility that OLED panels could make their way to the iPhone in 2018, after Apple has had time to work through some technical hurdles.
Though its far from confirmed at this stage, and OLED iPhone screens have been rumored for years, the switch would be compelling. One of the major benefits of OLED tech is that it only lights the pixels needed at any given time, so any black interface elements wouldn’t use up energy. This could lead to greater overall battery life, particularly if Apple were to introduce some form of a system-wide night theme. Additionally, OLED screens tend to be thinner than the IPS LCD screens that Apple’s been using, owing in large part to OLED’s lack of backlighting.