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article imageApple orders 160 million Samsung screens for the iPhone 8

By James Walker     Feb 13, 2017 in Technology
Apple and Samsung have reportedly inked a deal that will see the South Korean manufacturer build 160 million OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone 8. The contract is worth over $4 billion and will cover the vast majority of iPhone 8 displays.
Samsung was tasked with shipping Apple 100 million OLED displays late last year, South Korean newspaper The Investor reported today. Apple has since increased the order to 160 million panels, a 60 percent increase that suggests optimism at the iPhone 8's reception. Samsung has been tasked with building the additional units as well as the original shipment.
"80 percent of sales"
Samsung is the world's largest manufacturer of OLED mobile displays, having been the first to commercialise the technology at scale. It dwarfs its rivals by commanding a 95 percent market share. Other companies, including South Korean neighbour LG Display, are preparing to ramp up production this year. The new contract from Apple will secure Samsung's market lead though, making it harder for newcomers to get established.
In total, Samsung's OLED panels are expected to account for 80 percent of sales of the new iPhone 8. Apple is widely expected to launch three variants of the handset, only one of which will feature the OLED display. Despite being significantly pricier than its LCD-equipped siblings, the volume of panels ordered from Samsung implies Apple expects the OLED model to dominate overall sales.
iPhone 8 supercycle
This year's iPhone is thought to be the start of a new upgrade "supercycle" that will lead to extremely rapid uptake by new and existing customers alike. While this theory has been contested by some analysts, the volume of displays being manufactured for the launch indicates Apple is preparing to capitalise on increased demand.
The company will increase its launch supply of handsets to prevent stock shortages. Apple is reportedly planning to begin iPhone 8 production in earnest significantly earlier than in previous years. It will begin large-scale manufacturing in June, intending to bolster the number of phones it can send to retailers before the device's public unveil in September.
OLED leads a new design
Aside from a new OLED display, 2017's iPhone will introduce a new design for the first time since 2014. In part to show off the increased vibrancy of the screen, Apple will replace the aluminium chassis of the past three years with a new glass-backed body, aiming for a more premium feel. It brings the iPhone in-line with its Android competition where glass backs are currently in vogue.
Apple will also upgrade the iPhone's camera gear, likely pitching improved hardware capabilities alongside the OLED screen. The company is thought to be focusing on performance in poorly lit scenes, bringing its dual-lens setup back for a second year on the two highest iPhone 8 models.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 8, Samsung, OLED
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