Apple’s put in its curved screen iPhone order with Samsung

It’s been widely rumored that the iPhone 8 will have a curved OLED display, and now that’s looking more likely than ever, as Apple has apparently ordered 70 million such panels from Samsung.

According to sources speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, the panels will be used exclusively with the iPhone 8, which will have a slightly curved 5.2-inch screen. 

That’s smaller than the 5.8-inch estimates we’d heard previously, but they could just be talking about the usable space, with the rest of the screen real estate taken up by the rumored ‘function area’.

If the screen panel order has only just been made it seems late for a handset launching this year. The iPhone 7 went into production in June 2016, and if the new iPhones followed a similar path it would mean Samsung has 2.5 months to get the first batch out the door - which feels a little tight.

It appears the sources are claiming the panels are for this year, and while the current order is for 70 million panels, Samsung is preparing to build up to 90 million for use in iPhones this year in case demand is higher than expected.

Apparently Apple will also launch two other handsets, which will have 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens (possibly called the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus respectively) and these will stick with Apple’s standard flat LCD panels.

Supposedly the iPhone 8 will ditch the home button, but it will remain on the other two handsets.

Going wireless

Sources have told the same site that all three iPhone models this year will be waterproof and support wireless charging of some kind – though didn’t say whether it would be standard wireless charging or the long-range charging Apple is rumored to be working on.

But it sounds like plans for wireless charging aren’t set in stone in any case, as supposedly suppliers are trying to resolve overheating issues.

Finally, one of the sources adds that at least one iPhone model in 2017 will have a 3D sensor that enables facial recognition.

This is all broadly in line with rumors we’ve heard before, so it could well be true, but we won’t know for sure until the iPhone 8 – or whatever it’s ultimately called – is announced, likely in September.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.