That's right: the Foxconn-owned Sharp is, according to a recent report, gearing up for the large-scale production of OLED displays for a yet-to-be-announced iPhone handset.
Foxconn indeed purchased a controlling stake in Sharp earlier this year, in March. And at the time, we noted that given Sharp's position as a screen-supplier for Apple's iPhone line, it made sense that Foxconn's acquisition should set the company's production lines up for the same purpose. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said, “We have much that we want to achieve and I am confident that we will unlock Sharp’s true potential and together reach great heights,” and now that indeed seems to be happening.
Sharp will set up one 4.5G and two 6G AMOLED production lines with monthly capacity of 13,000, 11,500 and 34,500 glass substrates respectively, with total monthly capacity of 9.85 million 5.5-inch equivalent panels.
Sharp's global market share for smarphone-used OLED displays is expected to rise dramatically as a result.
The question of which iPhone Sharp's OLED display production is aiming for, however, remains a mystery. Before now, we've heard reports claiming that we'll see an OLED iPhone in 2017, with the “iPhone 7s,” or the following year, with the “iPhone 8.” But should you care? Well, as we've said before: yes.
OLED, as a technology, offers consumer electronics owners a number of benefits over more conventional LCD panels. For one, the technology uses less power (making the device itself more battery efficient). They can also be thinner and lighter than LCD, offer wider viewing angles, higher brightness, and significantly higher contrast levels. Finally, OLED features fast response times and wonderful color reproduction.
Though some of us will already be used to OLED displays: the Apple Watch uses such a screen, and does so in all three models. This latest news, however, further signals that OLED is coming to Apple's iPhone line, and this is great news. As always, we'll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.