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The iPhone 8 will be supplied with OLED displays exclusively from Samsung, according to reports
Apple has purportedly stepped-up iPhone 8 production this week.
The Cupertino-based company is believed to placed a blockbuster order for 70 million OLED panels for the hotly-anticipated new smartphone.
And it appears rival Samsung has the monopoly on the order.
Yes, that's right – the company behind the Galaxy S8 will be supplying the OLED panels for its main competitor, the iPhone 8.
According to IHS Markit analyst David Hsieh, "Apple has ordered 70 million units of OLED panels from Samsung this year, while Samsung is preparing to churn out as many as 95 million for Apple in 2017, in case demand exceeds expectations."
Apple clearly expects demand to be high for its next smartphone. And if the rumours about the handset are to be believed, it's not difficult to see why.
However, there have also been a number of rumours suggesting OLED panels could be in short supply – limiting the number of smartphones Apple will be able to get on shelves in time for its habitual September launch window.
Apple iPhone 8 – Leaked photos, concept images, and renders Sun, January 1, 2017
iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button
Play slideshow VENIAMIN GESKIN • TWITTER • CONCEPT IMAGES 1 of 21
Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
IHS Markit analyst David Hsieh agrees with this, adding "It is also possible that some of these 70 million handsets will not be shipped to customers this year and be carried over to next year depending on demand."
Apple is expected to debut three new iPhone models in September.
Two of these handsets, dubbed iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, will sport the same 4.7- and 5.5-inch LCD displays are their predecessors.
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iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus are also expected to ship with a physical Home Button, as well as wireless charging, waterproofing and a 3D sensor that supports facial recognition.
However, the third iPhone model to launch in September will purportedly take advantage of the massive OLED order from Samsung.
Apple is expected to extend the display to the very edges of the chassis
This new handset, reportedly dubbed iPhone 8, will drop the physical Home Button from the front of the device in order to extend the display to the very edges of the chassis.
iPhone 8 is expected to have a 5.2-inch touchscreen, that will be divided into two separate areas.
There will purportedly be a primary touchscreen area, around 5.15-inches, that will function like current iPhone models, according to the latest whispers from Cupertino.
Meanwhile, the rest of the touchscreen – which will reportedly bleed to the very edges of the phone – will be reserved for a row of virtual on-screen buttons, dubbed Function Area.
This touchscreen area at the bottom of the display will adapt to whatever is happening on screen, bringing menu items and shortcuts to your fingertips, similar to the Touch Bar included on the latest MacBook Pro models.
The Function Area will also house a virtual Home Button, and will have the Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology embedded beneath the glass.
DRIBBLE • ALHASAN HUSNI
Concept artists reveal the new Function Area at the bottom of the five-inch touchscreen
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the overall footprint of the smartphone will be similar to that of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7, which all have a 4.7-inch LED display.
Apple purportedly plans to debut an edge-to-edge display in an effort to keep the physical size of the device down, while simultaneously increasing the size of the display.
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is reportedly designing the phone so that it resembles "a single sheet of glass".
Japanese blog Mac Otakara claims this dramatic new flagship phone will be marketed as iPhone Edition – not the iPhone 8, as predicted.
The iPhone Edition brand would reportedly be used to signal that the smartphone is a higher-end model, similar to the top-of-the-range Apple Watch, which also carries the Edition moniker. Previous rumours suggest iPhone Edition could start at an eye-watering $1,000, roughly £820.
The latest report from Mac Otakara also claims Apple is still testing a number of different prototypes for the new flagship iPhone.
Apple is purportedly experimenting with a number of different display technologies and materials.
Samsung Galaxy S8 release – Latest smartphone in pictures Wed, March 29, 2017 Play slideshow EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS 1 of 35
Samsung Galaxy S8 release in pictures
Prototypes being tested in Cupertino include some iPhone Edition models with an LCD display, while others use an AMOLED panel.
Other prototypes are being passed around the Apple campus with and without physical Home Buttons, the report adds.
Apple is also believed to be experimenting with glass, aluminium and white ceramic chassis for the device.
iPhone Edition or Apple iPhone 8 will also be water resistant, capable of wireless charging, and have faster processor speeds.
According to a new research note from UBS, Apple has put together a team of more than 1,000 engineers working on Augmented Reality (AR) technology ready for the iPhone.
Augmented Reality sees artificial elements – like video footage, CGI animation or GPS data – placed on-top of real-world elements.
Pokémon Go is probably the best known example, which lets players use the camera to search for CGI monsters within the world around them.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is very interested in AR and has spoken at length about the potential for the technology.
“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone," Mr Cook said in an interview earlier this year.
"The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic or country or vertical market: It’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge."
According to Business Insider, Apple will include Augmented Reality technology inside its best-selling smartphone as early as the iPhone 8, or iPhone Edition.
If Apple keeps to the same schedule as previous years, the new iPhone will be launched in September.