While technically revivals in the ever-growing smartphone market, Apple and Samsung have agreed to set aside their differences to build the next-generation iPhone. According to the CNET, Apple has ordered 200 million organic light-emitting diode (OLED) iPhone displays from its counterpart, a deal that could yield up to $22 billion for Samsung.
For nearly a decade, Apple has used a traditional liquid-crystal display (LCD) for its signature smartphone. It wasn’t until the iPhone X when Apple made the transition to OLED. The key difference between the two displays lies in their method of illumination. LCDs are illuminated by a large backlight, typically a light-emitting diode (LED) backlight. On the other hand, each OLED pixel creates its own illumination. Because it doesn’t require a separate backlight, OLEDs are more energy efficient.
Apple is reportedly paying a premium for the OLEDs, however. According to the same CNET article cited above, the Cupertino-based tech company will pay Samsung roughly $110 for each OLED panel. Considering that Apple is ordering between 180 million and 200 million units, Samsung is poised to earn up to $22 billion on this deal alone.
Of course, Apple doesn’t have many other options for acquiring OLED panels. Aside from a few smaller manufacturers, Samsung pretty much dominates the OLED market. The lack of choices is probably why Apple selected its competitor, Samsung, to build the displays for its next-generation iPhone.
News of this deal shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who keeps up Apple. Earlier this year, Apple reportedly purchased 60 million OLED panels from Samsung for its iPhone X. Apple launched the iPhone X on November 3, 2017. This latest deal, however, is significantly larger at four times the size of the previous.
With a fresh contract for up to 200 million new OLED panels, Samsung has plenty of work on its hands. The strong demand for its smartphone displays has prompted Samsung to consider opening a new manufacturing facility. Even without a new manufacturing facility, though, the Seoul-based tech company says it has the resources to fulfill Apple’s order.
So, when can you expect to see the next-generation iPhone with Samsung’s OLED panel available for sale? Being that the iPhone X was just recently released, this probably won’t happen for quite some time. Like other handset major handset manufacturers, Apple typically releases a new flagship smartphone once a year. Assuming it continues to follow this tradition, the next-generation iPhone will likely hit the shelves around November 2018.
With that said, rumors are currently circulating that Apple will release three new iPhones next year. According to reports, two of the next-generation handsets will feature Samsung’s OLED panels while the third will feature a traditional, more affordable, LCD panel.
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