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Sharp may soon provide Apple OLED displays; Future iPhones to make shift from LCD

By Kaye Reese / 2017.01.11
An Apple phone is seen at a shop after Apple launched iPhone 7 and 7 plus in Moscow, Russia on October 26, 2016.

It looks like Apple may finally make the shift from LCD to OLED for its future iPhone products. It is said that Sharp, the Japanese company known for TVs and displays, has invested some $900 million in an OLED production line in Zhengzhou City, believed to address Apple's future demand for OLEDs after the iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8, one of Apple's three iPhones for the year, will be sporting an OLED display supplied by the South Korean company and main rival Samsung. However, since Apple's future demand for OLED screens far outdo Samsung's supply, it appears that Sharp saw an opportunity to partner up with the Cupertino-based tech giant.

OLED production line for Apple's iPhones

According to Phone Arena, Sharp has invested almost $900 million in a production line at Foxconn's factory in Zhengzhou City, which is the same factory producing about half of all assembled iPhones.

Apple is already making the move from LCD to OLED by introducing the iPhone 8, codenamed "Ferrari." The iPhone 8 will be the first Apple handset to sport an OLED display, although Samsung will be the exclusive supplier for this particular model.

Future of screen displays for Apple

It is said that the production line is Sharp's response to Samsung's inability to provide the OLED displays for Apple, BGR reported. Production, however, will start in 2019, which means that Sharp will not be able to provide OLED displays for the iPhone 8 and the other two upcoming iPhones in 2017.

According to the same publication, Sharp and other display makers, such as LG Display and Japan Display, are also working to secure Apple's business. With Apple making the shift to OLED, other smartphone manufacturers would surely move from LCD to OLED as well, which would mean good business for these display makers.

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