Apple Inc. is probably planning to use OLED panels in its next-gen iPhone, seemingly confirmed Tai Jeng-wu – the newly appointed chief executive of Japanese display maker Sharp. There have been widespread rumors about the Cupertino-based firm planning to incorporate OLED in the iPhone 8, and Jen-wu supposedly confirmed the rumor this weekend, notes a report from Apple Insider.
Tai in a position to know secrets
As per the reports by Nikkei, Tai was presented with an honorary doctorate degree at his alma mater Tatung University. And, during his address to the students, Tai spoke on Apple’s future plans. “The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels,” Tai said.
“We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity.”
In August, Tai was appointed as the CEO at Sharp. He also acts as an executive at its new parent company Foxconn (also known as Hon Ha). So, Tai is in a position to have information on Apple Inc. . For several years, Sharp has supplied LCD panels to the US firm to use in different products. Sharp’s parent company Foxconn manages a large bulk of Apple’s manufacturing.
Further, Sharp’s CEO said his company is building a new OLED facility in Japan. He added that if required, the company could potentially manufacture OLED panels in the US. “If our key customer demands us to manufacture in the U.S., is it possible for us not to do so?” the CEO said.
Will Apple fit iPhone 8 with an OLED display?
Tai, however, failed to offer more specifics on a potential OLED iPhone release timeline beyond the short mention. Also, the context of comments by Tai is not known. The tech giant is expected to release the next-gen iPhone with rumored unique “glass sandwich” design and flexible OLED display in 2017.
In June, reports pointed that both Sharp and Samsung planned OLED shipments by the end of next year, likely in expectation of large bulk orders from Apple Inc. . It is not certain, if Sharp has the capability to increase the production assets in time. The display maker announced last month that it is planning to infuse $568m as soon as the Q2 2018, into its OLED business.
Nikkei reported three days ago that there would be three versions of the next-gen iPhone, including a 5-inch screen model. The news organization reported that at least the biggest iPhone model will use OLED. Previously, Bloomberg reported that Sharp OLED iPhones would not be launched until 2018. Apple rivals including LG, Motorola and Samsung have been using OLED for quite some time, whereas the iPhone maker has frequently labeled the OLED tech as “oversaturated”.