iPhone rumours: Apple could add new OLED screen technology to iPhone in 2017, report says

The company had been expected to reveal the new screens as late as 2019, but may be looking to speed the process amid worries that the company has hit ‘peak iPhone’

Apple could completely change the screens in its iPhones in 2017, according to a new report.

The company has been rumoured to be switching to OLED displays in its handsets for some time. But it was thought that the technology would not arrive until at least 2018.

OLED displays allow the phone to use less battery because they don’t need to light up the black pixels, only the ones that offer colours. It also allows for deeper blacks because dark parts of the screen are actually dark, rather than being lit up with a dark colour.

The company is ready to add the technology to its phone in 2017, according to a report from Nikkei. That would be enabled through a more than $12 billion deal with Samsung and LG, who will make the screens, according to the same report.

Nikkei reports that Apple is speeding up the process amid fears that the company has hit “peak iPhone”, and will not be able to sell phones to more people. By adopting new features more quickly, it hopes it can stimulate demand and get sales going again, it claims.

It’s unclear whether the change could lead to a major redesign of the phone. It’s long been assumed that Apple’s first OLED phone would come in a fitting — but it only re-designs its phones once every other year, and 2017 would be an off year for hardware design.

As well as helping with battery and colouring, OLED displays can take up less space. That could allow the phone to be even smaller — something that Apple has focused on with all of its recent handsets.

The technology is already used in the Apple Watch.

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