Apple iPhone 8's special features will require special components from various manufacturers. Until last year, the company only dealt with LCD screens which came from LG. However, with the launch of iPhone 8 at the helm, the rumor of Apple using OLED screens is almost certain. These OLED screens are one of the biggest reasons why Apple might sell the iPhone 8 at an extraordinary price.
Other than price, the company is also risking market domination of it rival brand, Samsung. Currently, Samsung is the only brand capable of manufacturing OLED screens on a massive scale. The American company wouldn't want to give Samsung an undue advantage of being the sole manufacturer of the most important component of its flagship.
According to a report by AppleInsider, Apple is in 'urgent need' of alternate suppliers of OLED screens as Samsung has strong bargaining power against the American tech company. According to the report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a note to the investors which indicates this urgency of finding an alternate manufacturer.
Kuo claims that this new OLED display is costing Apple a hefty $120 -$130 per unit compared to the $45 to $55 per unit for the LCD screen on iPhone 7 Plus that was launched last year.
However, it is highly unlikely that Apple will find an alternative any time soon. Samsung holds patents to most technologies related to OLED screens and is the only manufacturer to match up the demand of these screens.
The fabrication process of an OLED screen requires special attention to detail. A single speck of dust can ruin the entire process. Even if Apple finds an alternate, the manufacturer will require a massive amount of time to build facilities that can assemble OLED screens.
According to another report by AppleInsider, LG is preparing to enter full scale OLED production by 2019. Until then, Apple will have to rely on Samsung to manufacture the next two generations of OLED screens (if Apple choses to go for OLED in the next gen iPhone as well).
OLED screens are expected to feature on 40 per cent of smartphones sold in 2020. Unlike LCD, OLED displays don't rely on backlight to relay colours. The screen can emit light on its own, allowing parts of the screen to remain active while truly black parts of the screen do not need to light up at all. This not only saves battery but also enables much slimmer display units.
Given the ability to turn off pixels, the blacks are much deeper on OLED screens in comparison LCD displays. However, the tough manufacturing process also means that these displays will be much more expensive to replace once broken.
Apple will be launching its anniversary edition iPhone next week. One of the biggest and most consistent leak regarding the device has been an edge to edge display. Given the complexities of the new display, the device might ditch the finger print sensor altogether for 3D face recognition.