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iPhone 8 with curved OLED screen in testing, WSJ says

by Todd Haselton | November 28, 2016November 28, 2016 7:00 am PDT

Photos above from iDropNews

It’s hard to say with any certainty what Apple is planning for its next iPhone, but we can start to get a better understanding of what might be on the way as rumors start to swirl. The Wall Street Journal on Monday said that Apple is currently testing several prototype iPhones, as many as 10 separate devices, and that it’s possible a model with a curved OLED display will be in consumers hands as early as next year.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a curved iPhone 8, or an OLED panel for that matter. In fact, a report in September suggested Apple is looking to Samsung and Sharp as potential OLED display providers. However, The Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple may want something to distinguish its panels from Samsung’s, suggesting that the Cupertino-based company is asking suppliers to deliver panels “with better resolution than ones from Samsung to differentiate its models.”

Samsung, as you likely know, outfits its smartphones with some of the best displays on the planet, using curved Quad HD OLED displays. Apple hasn’t yet adopted Quad HD, and The Wall Street Journal’s report suggests it may skip it entirely, perhaps for a 4K panel. A curved screen could help Apple eliminate the bezels around the edges of the phone, adopting a design not unlike the Galaxy S7 Edge or Galaxy Note 7.

iPhone 8 curved screen may be scrapped

The Wall Street Journal warned that Apple may bail on a curved screen entirely, citing Sharp as one potential supplier that isn’t convinced it should spend $5 billion investing in OLED technology to build the panels for Apple. Sharp’s CEO recently said he doesn’t see OLED panels “having the potential to become a big market,” even though they’re currently used in everything from smartwatches to televisions and, of course, smartphones. Sharp’s IGZO displays have been used by Apple in the past; rumors once suggested Sharp was going to provide Apple with a 4K panel for the iPhone 7. That never came to fruition, of course.

In any case, it seems Apple is far from settled on a final design for the iPhone 8. If it does end up adopting a curved OLED panel, the iPhone 8 will end up costing consumers about $50 more than standard models, The Wall Street Journal said. iPhone 8 models without the OLED panel will continue to use LCD, according to earlier reports. All models are expected to support wireless charging, too. The new iPhone 8 is expected in September.

WSJ iDropNews

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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