With Apple rumored to be introducing a dramatically redesigned, OLED-equipped iPhone 8 by the fall of next year, it perhaps goes without saying that the Cupertino-company really ought to get its supply chain on the same page well ahead of schedule — especially since these top-tier, OLED-outfitted iPhones are all but certain to sell like hotcakes. Meanwhile, Samsung, among the world’s foremost flexible OLED display manufacturers, has already announced that it will likely be unable to meet the demand for OLED panels requested.
However, Samsung’s inability to meet demand may not be the biggest hindrance to Apple’s OLED-equipped iPhone plans, after all, according to a report published earlier this morning by South Korea’s ETNews. The report alleges that Samsung’s restricted supply of OLED displays likely won’t pose much of a hindrance to Apple, because the Cupertino-company — along with two of its fiercest rivals, Google and Microsoft — will supposedly be partnering with LG Display in an effort to “mass-produce flexible, bendable OLED display panels for future mobile devices” — an effort that should come to fruition by as early as 2018.
Of course, while Apple’s involvement in this reported partnership should come as little surprise to most of us, the fact that both Google and Microsoft were also reported to be in the mix perhaps has some scratching their heads. As it turns out, supply chain sources speaking to ETNews allege that Google is interested in obtaining LG’s flexible OLED display panels to employ on future iterations of its Pixel devices; while Microsoft, appears to be entertaining OLED panels for use on future Surface products.
What’s interesting, as noted within the report, is that the OLED displays produced by LG will designed, most ideally, to be employed by bendable devices — like those along the lines of that crazy-looking, clamshell-style iPhone patent Apple was recently granted.
Specifically, according to PhoneArena, the displays manufactured by LG will boast their own self-healing mechanism, which will essentially allow them to be stretched out over the entire surface of a device and permit the OLEDs to bend numerous times without picture deterioration at the folding area.
According to the ETNews report, LG will be ramping up production of its OLED assembly line for mass-production by as early as 2018, which falls in line quite nicely with previous reports that the company is investing heavily in expanding its OLED production capacities ahead of Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ announcement.