Work is about to start on a critical iPhone 8 feature, according to a report out of Korea. And it's being handled by Apple's chief rival on the smartphone front, Samsung.
Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the electronics giant, will begin manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the iPhone 8 later this month, according to a Korean report that was earlier discovered by The Investor. Apple is expecting strong demand for the OLED-based iPhone and has placed an order of 80 million screens, according to the report.
Rumors have been flying fast and furious about what Apple might have planned for the iPhone 8. While the company has remained mum about its upcoming phones, a slew of rumors suggest the device will come with the aforementioned OLED screen that will entirely cover its face. The handset will also ditch the physical home button in favor of a virtual one, with the fingerprint sensor potentially baked into the display. The device's design could mimic that of the iPhone 4, with a glass finish front and back and a metal spine around the sides.
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Several alleged prototypes have leaked online, though it's unknown whether any is the real thing or a mockup created by tricksters. At its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, Apple discussed new software features for the iPhone's iOS 11 operating system, but didn't provide any hints about future hardware plans.
Still, the rumors keep coming, and most believe Apple will release three new handsets this year. Two of those, believed to be known as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, will offer only minor upgrades over last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 8, however, will deliver a new user experience.
According to the latest report, the iPhone 8's OLED screen will indeed cover its face, though it won't be curved like you'd find in the Samsung Galaxy S8. The report also says Apple will only bring OLED panels to the iPhone 8 and not the other devices.
The report didn't say when the iPhone 8 might hit store shelves and when Apple's production partners will start assembling the device. Most rumors suggest the iPhone 8 will be unveiled in September, though reports conflict over whether it'll be released in September or later in the year.