Sharp in talks with Apple for anticipated switch to OLED display iPhones

in iPhone
On the heels of news that Sharp plans to invest more than a half-billion dollars in OLED technology, a new report reveals the company is in talks with Apple to supply OLED displays for a future iPhone, suggesting the two items are strongly correlated.

OLED iPhone with "dark mode" UI concept via Martin Hajek.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported this week that Apple and Sharp are currently in talks regarding OLED displays in future iPhone models.

It was said that any agreement would depend on Sharp's ability to output OLED displays. With a dearth of OLED inventory available on the market, Apple is said to be working to increase supply ahead of its anticipated switch.

Sharp revealed this week that it plans to invest $568 million in OLED technology, in hopes of beginning output as soon as the second quarter of 2018. That could put the company in a position to supply displays to Apple's 12th-generation iPhone that fall, if the company sticks to its usual annual release schedule.

Apple, however, is rumored to debut OLED in its iPhone lineup next year, marking the 10th-anniversary of the blockbuster handset. Reports have varied, suggesting that just one new iPhone model next year will sport OLED, potentially due to the aforementioned supply issues.

Apple is expected to take advantage of OLED's unique properties, including the ability to conform with curved handset designs. In addition, each individual pixel with OLED technology is self-lit, which means "black" (unused) pixels do not require as much power as illuminated pixels, lending support to rumors of a so-called "dark mode" in iOS 10.

The display industry is banking on Apple to adopt OLED, leading to projections that OLED panels could become the dominant technology in mobile phones by the year 2020. The current standards are LTPS LCD and a-SI technology.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,814member
    Might help push OLED to become dominant TV display technology making it cheaper(law of large), in-line with LCD TV prices.. I am waiting to buy 65" OLED TV close or under $2K.
    edited September 2016 lifewave98waverboy
  • Reply 2 of 6
    The reason OLED TVs are still so expensive is because there is no competition in the US. LG is the only manufacturer.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,074member
    So will the 7S or 7S plus have OLED ?
    Sounds like only if they get displays from Samsung.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    It is quite doubtful that Sharp is able to produce large quantities of OLED panels by 2018. 

    The only two manufacturers that would be able to produce panels in the quantities that Apple would need are Samsung and LG. No one else is even close. 

    Apple should have learned from the GTAT fiasco. 

    Sharp can't even produce an OLED television. LG produces 65 inch OLED panels routinely. Samsung did release a 55 inch panel before dropping large screen OLED panels. The thing is, Samsung produced one that was sold to consumers. 

    Sharp cannot even produce a small screen OLED panel. A half billion dollars is laughable for a company that hasn't produced any commercial OLED product. 

    Appleinsider itself published a piece in which LG is investing 4.2 billion into an OLED facility to meet demand for the panels.

    JDI and Sharp will likely never be competitive in OLED. It's doubtful that Sony can even compete. 
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