Slowly but surely, the mobile industry is moving towards OLED displays to replace traditional LED LCD panels. It is a costly proposition, hence why the transition is not happening overnight, but the payoff is an overall better display with better color accuracy and more vibrant and brighter pixels that pop. Rather than continue to monkey around with both panel types, it's rumored that Apple will make a wholesale swap to OLED with its next round of iPhone models.
Obviously a rumor and confirmation are two very different things. That said, it would not surprise us if Apple made the leap to OLED for all three of its upcoming iPhone XI models, rather than just the two higher end ones. After all, Apple has not been shy about nudging the price of its flagship phones into higher tiers as the years have gone on.
As it stands now, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both sport OLED displays, while the iPhone XR retains an LED LCD. Looking ahead, sources within the handset component supply chain tell Digitimes that Apple will again launch three iPhone models later this year, only this time all three will have OLED panels.
Apple may offset the cost of the lowest end model by using a smaller display. According to the sources, Apple's upcoming iPhone XI lineup will feature 5.42-inch, 6.06-inch, and 6.67-inch panels. The current generation checks in at 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, respectively, and 6.1 inches for the iPhone XR.
While nothing has been said about this, if what the sources are saying is true, I would imagine the smaller display would apply to the lower end model this time around. So for example, we could potentially be looking at this:
- iPhone XI Max: 6.67-inch OLED
- iPhone XI: 6.06-inch OLED
- iPhone XIR: 5.42-inch OLED
Those model names are not official either, but just for reference. And while I'm speculating, HDR support could potentially be another differentiating factor.
What will also be interesting is where Apple sources its displays from, and the accompanying touch technologies. The sources note that for the smaller model, Apple may opt to go with either Samung's Y-Octa or LG's TOE touch technology. It's said that either one could help keep costs downs.
We will have to wait and see how this all plays out, and how the displays on the next-models compare to Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+. Samsung makes the best mobile OLED panels in the business. That is not just us saying that, but also DisplayMate, which gave Samsung's newest flagship phones an unmatched A+ rating.