Three OLED iPhones for 2018?

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Nikkei reports Apple will be using OLED displays in not one, not two, but three new iPhone models, all set to launch sometime "the second half of 2018."

iPhone OLEDAccording to unnamed industry sources, Apple is "tentatively looking" to release three iPhones next year, even if such plans are subject to change. After all, the company has a record of tweaking product specifications and lineups in the name of accommodating market sources and component quality.

The grapevine has repeatedly insisted Apple will be using OLED technology in an upcoming iPhone. Nikkei says Apple will only use OLED in one 2017 iPhone, a "premium handset" featuring a "high screen-to-body ratio without the iconic home button." It will also release two other models featuring LCD displays, which are expected to be sold into early 2019.

Apple's choice of OLED will lead to one big winner-- Samsung Display. The S. Korean giant has invested "substantially" in the technology over the past few years ($8.43 billion in 2016 alone), and plans to expand OLED production capability through the building of new A4 and A5 plants. And while Apple prefers to have more than one supplier for a single component, would-be Samsung rivals are still struggling to consistently produce OLED displays.

That said, at least one Samsung rival might get a helping hand from Apple. The Korea Herald reports Apple considers investing anything from $1.75 to $2.62 billion in LG Display to push OLED panel development. Meanwhile another Apple display supplier, Sharp, is said to have "at least a 3-year lead" over the competition in OLED technology, and may have benefit through its current owner, sole iPhone assembler Foxconn.

The final iPhone display supplier is JDI, a combination of the display units of Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba owned by the Japanese government-backed Innovation Network Corp. This smaller company will struggle the most should Apple switch entirely to OLED, since it can in no way rival the sheer might of a Samsung or Foxconn.

Go Apple to Use OLED Screens in All New iPhones Launching in 2018 (Nikkei)