Apple will reportedly switch its designs to produce only OLED-based iPhones from 2018 onwards. The word comes via Asian business publication Nikkei.com, which claims to have heard that Apple will launch three smartphones in 2018 and ALL of them will use OLED displays.
This will of course follow 2017's launch, which will also be three models, two with IPS LCD Retina displays (iPhone 7s and iPhonr 7s Plus) and one with OLED; the 10th Anniversary, all-new design iPhone 8.
The report adds that this indicates Apple is planning to switch its entire line-up over to OLED. Allegedly there will still be three different phone sizes in the 2018 launch, amongst those are rumoured 5.28in and 6.46in variants. The third and final one is unknown. What's not clear is whether Apple will repeat 2017's dynamic even with the full OLED switch-over, which would mean two "iPhone 8s" variants (iPhone 8s and iPhone 8s Plus) and an iPhone 9. This is just speculation, however, and one of many possible routes Apple could take.
We were under the impression that the launch of three phones was simply a way for Apple to accomodate the fact that it wanted to produce a significantly up-rated premium model inside the 10th anniversary year, while also offering incremental models on the previous year's range. We didn't think it would become a continual trend.
It is also interesting to note these plans, assuming they are true, given that Apple is reportedly struggling with the iPhone 8's OLED supply. Previous rumours had suggested supply was so short of the OLED panels that the iPhone 8 could be delayed. More recent rumours believe it will arrive on time, but it may see a limited run of units. According to some reports, despite Apple signing a deal with Samsung, for the latter to supply 70 million OLED display units for the iPhone 8, Apple may only hit the market with between 3-4 million iPhone 8 handsets. For the past several generations Apple has sold around 13 million units in its opening three-day sales period following new announcements.
That said, corroborating reports in recent months have suggested that Samsung is substantially investing billions into its OLED production, specifically so that it can supply future iPhones with large numbers of display panels.