Apple is reportedly testing “more than 10 prototypes” of the iPhone 8, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal claims its checks with display suppliers suggest next year’s flagship iPhone could come with a curved screen with greater resolution than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The curved screen echoes a Barclays Research note that reported the iPhone 8 would have a curved screen that extends to the edges.
The report also corroborates earlier rumors claiming Apple could release a new top-tier iPhone 8 with an OLED display that’ll cost more. Though as many as 10 different iPhone 8’s are being considered, Apple will shave that down to two or three models by the time they launch next year.
Apple has yet to ditch LCDs in favor of OLED technology for its iPhones, even as competitors such as Samsung and Xiaomi have done so. The only Apple products with OLED displays are the Apple Watch and the new MacBook Pros.
OLED screens could help make the iPhone 8 thinner and more power efficient.
What’s the big deal about OLED? To normal folk, LCD and OLED screens might not look too different, but the advantages of OLEDs are many, with better color reproduction and improved contrast (thus deeper blacks). Also, LCDs require a backlight but OLEDs don’t; instead, each individual pixel lights up. Pixels that turn black don’t need to light up and, thus, help conserve power.
Furthermore, because OLED displays don’t need a backlight, it’s one less layer to fit into the iPhone’s already tightly packed design. That means Apple could make the iPhone 8 thinner and lighter than the iPhone 7.
Of course, the release of an iPhone 8 with an OLED screen will depend largely on production yield rates. Apple moves millions of iPhones every quarter, after all.