Apple’s new iPhone for next year is widely expected to be a radical departure from the existing aluminium and glass design. A report from the Korea Herald indicates that the new display in next year’s major new phone, currently dubbed iPhone 8 by the rumor mill, will be a plastic OLED panel that curves ‘all over’.
This report reaffirms the idea of Apple introducing three new phones in 2017: one flagship OLED-display device and two less-radical models (iPhone 7s?) that resemble the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
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It’s not clear whether the plastic OLED panel is what users of the phone would feel or if the plastic part is then covered with a glass layer on the iPhone 8. Apple has relied on Corning ‘Gorilla Glass’ in all iPhones to date with glass displays typically considered as more premium than plastic materials.
Curved glass is also used on the current iPhone and Apple Watch at the edges, so it’s not clear why Apple would opt for a plastic OLED display with the 2017 model. The Herald indicates that the component is being manufactured by Samsung Display.
“The OLED version of the new iPhone will all be curved as Apple ordered all plastic OLED — not glass — from Samsung Display. Samsung is capable of supplying a little less than 100 million units of curved OLED displays to Apple,” a source familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald.
Previous reporting suggests that the iPhone 8 display will be ‘all-glass’ with the OLED panel wrapping around the sides of the chassis. Details are murky but the Touch ID Home Button is also expected to be integrated into the screen to make the new iPhone almost bezel-less.
KGI has said before that the iPhone 8 will adopt wireless charging, although the charger might be an additional purchase rather than included in the box. The Korea Herald says that Apple is also considering new ‘sensing technology’ that allows the device to respond when the user touches any side of the device, not just the main face touchscreen.
The flagship premium model for 2017 will be the iPhone 8 with curved OLED display, however there will also be minor revisions to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. These will likely include internal component upgrades and be positioned as cheaper options, which may allow the iPhone 8 to be priced more expensively than in years past. The report says that these ‘iPhone 7s’ phones will continue to use flat LCD display panels.