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Samsung Display will reportedly be operating seven OLED production lines at "full scale" this month in order to churn out panels for Apple's "iPhone 8," the first iPhone to use OLED technology.
Samsung's related capacity has jumped from 30,000 to 45,000 panels per month a year ago to 105,000, ETNews said on Friday. While that number may still sound low, in this case each panel can be used to make several iPhone displays.
The "iPhone 8", coming this fall, is expected to feature an edge-to-edge, 5.8-inch OLED screen, with a portion of that being set aside for a virtual home button and other interface elements. Samsung should be Apple's sole OLED supplier, as it's currently the only firm able to produce smartphone-sized OLED panels on a mass scale — curved OLED has been on Samsung phones as far back as 2014's Galaxy Note Edge.
The Apple Watch uses OLED as well, but its small display size is both cheaper and easier to manufacture for. It may be some time before Apple feels it's economical to bring OLED to bigger devices such as iPads and MacBooks.
Companies like Sharp and LG should eventually join the iPhone OLED supply chain, but not in time to make a meaningful contribution to this year's hardware.
Alongside the "iPhone 8," Apple is also forecast to release an "iPhone 7s" and "7s Plus," using 4.7- and 5.5-inch LCDs like the iPhone 7 line. They should have some "8" upgrades however, such as wireless charging and faster processors.