iPhone 12 could be slimmer and lighter — thanks to Samsung

iPhone 12 concept design
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital/Concept Creator)

The OLED displays on some models of the iPhone 12 could use tech that will allow for slimmer screens and potentially thinner and lighter iPhones. 

Two new reports from DigiTimes and Korean website TheElec have noted that Samsung along with LG will supply the displays for all four iPhone 12 models. And Samsung will provide its Y-OCTA technology to be used in the displays of the higher-end iPhone 12 models. 

Y-OCTA might sound like something from the world of sci-fi, but it’s actually the tech that allows the touch layer for a touch screen to be fitted within the display itself rather than under it. This allows for slimmer devices, and as such would suggest that devices like the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max could be slimmer than their predecessors. 

We’ve already heard rumors that Y-OCTA tech will be used in the next iPhone, which is expected to arrive sometime in September or October. But these new leaks add credence to the other leaks and suggest we could be looking at an iPhone design that’s a good bit different from previous iPhones over the past couple of years.  

While Samsung is likely to take care of the OLED panels for the higher-end iPhones, LG could provide the non-Y-OCTA screens for the likes of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max. 

The iPhone 12 is expected to come in four screen sizes ( a 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch handsets, and a 6.7-inch Max model), and the high-end Pro models may get fast 120Hz refresh rates. Other predicted specs include a new A14 chip, 5G connectivity, and two rear cameras for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max, with Pro modes sporting three rear cameras and a LiDAR sensor akin to that on the iPad Pro 2020

Screen scene 

iPhone 12 render by PhoneArena

(Image credit: PhoneArena)

Of course, all the above information is based on leaks and rumors that remain unconfirmed by Apple. But Apple’s reported move to go with both LG and Samsung for its iPhone 12 displays would be an interesting one.

Apple has previously used Samsung as the sole supplier of its OLED iPhone screens, which is a tad ironic given that Samsung's own Galaxy handsets are major rivals to the iPhone. By using supposedly using both LG and Samsung for its iPhone 12 screens, Apple has the scope to be less reliant on Samsung for its screens. 

And that leaves room for Apple to potentially work on new screens for the iPhone 13 that could tap into LG’s expansive display manufacturing experience. Given that Apple is predicted to adopt mini-LED display technology next year, the future for iPhone, iPad, and MacBook screens could be very interesting. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.