Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp’s senior executive has officially confirmed that the next generation of iPhones, the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 family, will come with organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.
“The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels,” Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu reportedly told students at Tatung University, his alma mater.
“We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity,” Tai of Sharp, whose parent company is Hon Hai Precision otherwise known as Foxconn, said.
While Sharp is know to supply smartphones panels to Apple, Hon Hai or Foxconn is known to manufacture Apple handsets.
Also, Tai’s comments assumes significance as the Cupertino-headquartered company looks to make up for declining sales of iPhones. Apple suffered its first annual sales decline since 2001 in the year to September due to weakening demand for its signature gadget. The sales results of its iPhone 7 family is yet to be seen.
Moreover, the alleged ‘lack of innovation’ is expected to surmount more pressure on the company to do something special for its 10th anniversary edition of smartphones.
OLEDs are better than the current displays Apple uses on its smartphones. They can offer sharper colour contrast compared to LTPS screens. It can offer more flexibility to manufacturers to create curved or foldable displays. Samsung’s S7 Edge and now the scraped Note 7 use curved OLED displays. However, Sharp currently supplies LTPS panels for Apple but at present has very limited OLED production capabilities.
But Tai later said that the company was dedicated to building OLED capabilities. “We are now building a new [OLED] facility in Japan. We can make [OLED panels] in the US too,” he told the Nikkei Asian Review. “If our key customer demands us to manufacture in the US, is it possible for us not to do so?”
Tai was appointed president and chief executive of Sharp in August, soon after Hon Hai finalized its purchase of the century-old corporation.
However, KGI’s securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, known as the best Apple analyst on the planet, has predicted that Apple is planning an entire makeover for its smartphones.
According to Kuo, Apple is expected to redesign the iphone with an all-glass enclosure instead of the ranges’ famed aluminium chassis which will also be complemented by new cutting edge curved OLED display.