Apple reportedly will include an OLED display on the 2017 iPhone, and a new report from Bloomberg indicates the company’s supply chain is already gearing up for it. The publication reports Applied Materials, a company that creates equipment for making displays, has reported a fourfold increase in orders for the brighter display
The first evidence came last week when Applied Materials Inc. reported an almost fourfold leap in orders for equipment to make displays, an early sign producers are retooling their manufacturing to meet Apple’s demand for a new kind of organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen. The technology will allow Apple to upgrade the biggest component of its main product.
“Some tooling or machinery orders now set up suppliers for the fall of 2017,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “It sets up the iPhone in the fall of 2017 to be more of an impactful upgrade than the fall of this year.”
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.
While not mentioning Apple by name, CEO Gary Dickerson dropped some hints in a statement given to Bloomberg.
“It’s not a peak or a one-time event,” said Applied Materials Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson. “This is going to be sustainable growth. We all know who is the leader in terms of mobile products.”
The company says it takes as long as three quarters to build, deliver, and install it equipment used to manufacture OLED screens, which makes the timeframe about right for screens to be used in 2017 models of any handsets.
While the 2016 iPhone has yet to be introduced, a number of rumors have suggested Apple will debut OLED displays in at least one iPhone model in 2017. Apple has reportedly inked a deal with Samsung for 5.8-inch OLED screens, and is also rumored to be looking at screens from such suppliers as AU Optronics, LG Display, and Sharp.
OLED displays, currently use in Apple’s Apple Watch, eliminate the need for traditional backlighting, which would cut down on weight and the thickness of a future device, and also offer truer colors, better contrast ratios, better battery life, and more over traditional LCD displays.