Next year’s iPhone, the follow up to the iPhone 7, will reportedly offer a third edition of the device on top of the now regular standard model, and Plus version.
The prediction comes from the reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who believes we’ll see the regular 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen editions with LCD screens, while a third will feature an OLED display. The new model will also come with a dual-camera, says Kuo, who bases the prediction on the sales and profit momentum of Largan, the exclusive supplier of the wide-angle telephoto lens for Apple.
Organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, is an organic compound that emits light in response to electric currents. This technology is already used on other devices, including smartphone competitors, Apple’s own Watch, and the new Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro. The benefit to OLED displays is that they operate without a backlight meaning deeper levels of black can be displayed, while the screens themselves can be thinner and lighter than LCD.
The prediction joins Kuo’s previous analysis in which he pointed towards an all-glass chassis in next year’s iPhone, while elsewhere rumors also suggest the Home button will bebuilt into the screen, and wireless charging will also feature.
However, a report in Bloomberg has noted that based on supply sources, Apple will only feature OLED displays on its Plus model, with no mention of a third device. It cites the reason for not including OLED displays on both models is due to supply chain restraints.
Apple currently has an exclusive deal in place with Samsung, the world’s biggest supplier of the panels, which doesn’t have enough production capacity to fulfil the expected high demand of the next iPhone until 2018.
The report says Apple has placed an order for 100 million OLED panels already, but these are all larger than 5-inches, suggesting only the Plus model will feature this display.