Tom 2016-05-26 8:43 pm
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Apple Supply Chain Preparing for OLED iPhone

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will only be released this fall, but planning and preparations for the generation after the upcoming flagship devices is already taking place at Apple’s HQ and the supply chain. According to reports by Bloomberg, the 2017 iPhone will probably sport the long-awaited OLED display upgrade. Suppliers note that part orders for these types of display panels have increased markedly.

In the aforementioned report, it is said that Applied Materials Inc. has received a large number of equipment orders for the manufacturing of display panels. From this we can deduct that Apple’s supply chain companies are retooling their factories to keep up with the future demand in next generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens. Apple has always placed emphasis on providing consumers with highly accurate, brightly lit and wide gamut screens.

The tech press has been speculating for a while about the impact of this year’s upgrade in comparison to what is to come with the next generation. Apparently, the display tech wasn’t quite ready of this fall and the generation after the iPhone 7 will make a bigger mark, if rumors are to be believed. One of Apple’s spokespeople, Trudy Muller, did not comment on the story when asked. The order volume for Q2 of this year alone, as noted at Applied Materials Inc., is worth 700 million USD. This translates to an entire typical business year for the manufacturer. CEO Gary Dickerson suspects that Apple’s suppliers are behind this huge order volume and his following quote appears to support the rumors of an OLED iPhone for 2017:

“It’s not a peak or a one-time event. This is going to be sustainable growth. We all know who is the leader in terms of mobile products.”

iPhone 7s OLED display only in the 5.5-inch model?

Further support for this rumor is found in the spending of Samsung, LG and Foxconn that is related to OLED technology. Apple is said to have closed a 2.59 million USD deal with Samsung, with respect to 5.5-inch OLED display panels. What about the smaller model? As of now, the tech press is uncertain whether Apple will provide the regular model with the same quality screen, or whether it will be reserved to the plus-sized iPhone. The 2017 iPhone might also come with a glass chassis, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.