Amid OLED supply issues, Apple mulls over another supplier for iPhone 8 screens

Apple iPhone 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Apple has been assembling a team of suppliers to satisfy demand for OLED displays in future iPhones, and it appears one of those suppliers could be China’s BOE Technology Group, according to Bloomberg.

The switch from LCD technology, which has powered every previous iPhone, to OLED has been one of the major changes predicted for the upcoming iPhone 8. Trouble is, OLED panels are more costly and difficult to produce, and Samsung, which was initially tipped to be Apple’s exclusive OLED supplier for this year’s batch of smartphones, is not confident it will be able to produce enough. This has caused Apple to look elsewhere, and one of the companies it is reportedly courting is BOE.

BOE, which Bloomberg cites as the world’s largest producer of LCD displays by market value, is constructing one plant in Chengdu specifically for OLED manufacturing purposes, scheduled to be completed in the summer, and will start up on another in Mianyang soon after. Apple has been testing BOE’s displays for months, according to the report, and is still unsure if it will enlist the company’s services. While BOE seems likely to miss the cutoff for the iPhone 8, the companies might partner on Apple’s 2018 smartphones, and BOE is ramping up capacity in response.

The upshot of all of this is that Apple still may not have enough OLED displays on hand by the end of the year to equip the entire iPhone range — something the Cupertino, California, company was reportedly considering. Even with production from LG, Japan Display, and Sharp, in addition to Samsung, some analysts say Apple might be forced to restrict OLED to the flagship iPhone 8, or just shelve the new screens entirely until next year.

OLED displays are favored for their impressive contrast ratio and frugal energy consumption compared to conventional LCD. Previous sources have suggested the iPhone 8’s implementation could be curved and run from side to side, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Edge series.

Mobile

It’s not really a ‘budget’ phone, but the iPhone XR is still a great value

The iPhone XR is no "budget" phone and shouldn't be labeled as such. At $750, it offers a beautiful design, top-tier specs, and most importantly, isn’t all that different than the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max.
Mobile

Code found in iOS 12.1 beta suggests we will see a new iPad this fall

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.
Mobile

Samsung exec confirms upcoming Galaxy S10 will sport 'very significant changes'

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Find out how Apple's new iPhones measure up to the most bezel-less designs

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we measure them side by side.
Photography

Joby’s tiny tripods double as selfie sticks and hide four different modes

The Joby TelePod models are more than just compact tripods -- they also double as hand grips, selfie sticks, and tabletop tripods. Designed to accommodate smaller gear like smartphones and lightweight mirrorless, the tripods use a unique…
Wearables

WatchOS 5 comes with tons of new features -- here are our favorites

Months after Apple announced its latest software at WWDC, you can now download WatchOS for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 5 brings a number of new features including new watch faces and improved health tracking.
Social Media

Instagram could separate hashtags for less annoying posts

Just what features will Instagram add next? One enthusiast reverse engineered the app to uncover several potential features the app could be testing, including a dedicated spot for hashtags and geofencing.
Photography

To post or not to post? Here's when you should put up a picture on the 'Gram

Let's be honest, the majority of us care about the popularity of our Instagram posts. There is a sweet spot, however, if you're looking to boost the number of likes and comments you receive. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Our favorite tips and tricks to help you master your Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Apple's not the only game in town when it comes to productivity tablets. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 has all the features you'll need to get work done. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.
Computing

Smart Reply not smart enough? Desktop Gmail users can soon opt out

Google will soon give desktop Gmail users the ability to opt out of Smart Reply. If you'd prefer to compose a short email the old-fashioned way, you can do so without seeing the auto-generated suggestions in the future.
Social Media

Instagram feature that lets you reshare others’ posts may be on its way

Despite constant calls from many of its billion-plus users, Instagram has always refused to offer an option that lets Instagrammers reshare others' posts that appear on their feed. New reports suggest this could be about to change.
Mobile

The iPhone XS and XS Max are now available -- here's how to get them

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Mobile

The Apple Watch Series 4 is now available -- here's where to buy it

The new Apple Watch Series 4 is here. Besides the Apple store, the company's next-generation smartwatch is be available for purchase through all four major carriers. Here's where you can get yours.
Mobile

Huawei is not-so-subtly trolling Friday’s iPhone launch

Apple launches the iPhone XS range to the public on Friday, but Huawei is out in force to remind the public what they could be missing out on (Hint: It's the Mate 20 Pro) by choosing Apple's latest smartphone.