We all know that Apple is planning on shipping a majorly overhauled iPhone during 2017. With the iPhone 6s and 7 ranges standing as an evolution of the iPhone 6, both in terms of physical design and capability, next year’s iPhone will represent an opportunity for Apple to once again innovate and show the competition what it needs to aspire to.
However, whilst it’s generally accepted that change is coming, there’s conflict about exactly what those changes will be. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Barclays Research, and Japanese publication Nikkei, have all previously chimed in with 2017 iPhone predictions, and all have slightly differing opinions on what Apple will bring.
One of the areas of conflict is the display size, and the size of the device in general, of a future iPhone. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously stipulated his belief that Apple will release a new model iPhone, complete with OLED technology, that will come with a 5.8-inch panel.
However, since that prediction may have led some to think that Apple will be moving to a mammoth 5.8-inch device, Kuo has issued another research note clarifying that although the device will have a 5.8-inch OLED panel, the usable area from an interaction perspective will be around the 5.1 to 5.2-inch mark and that the iPhone as a whole won’t be any larger than current models:
We predict OLED iPhone will be 5.1-5.2”, despite various market speculation. In terms of the display size of the OLED iPhone, current information from the upstream points to 5.8”, while that from the downstream points to 5”, which does not conflict, in our view. We predict OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.7-5.8” flexible OLED panel (with Samsung (KR) as the exclusive supplier). Nonetheless, for ‘specific design purposes’, the actual active area may be around 5.1-5.2”. Other than the OLED model, we expect Apple to launch new 4.7” and 5.5” TFT-LCD iPhone models.
The “for specific design purposes” likely means that due to the expected bezel-less and wraparound nature of the display, the actual usable space on the front will only be 5.1-5.2-inches, with some area of the screen also likely to be dedicated to the rumored display-embedded Touch ID sensor.
Interestingly enough, this speculated 5.8-inch iPhone is expected to be the third device in next year’s range. Analysts are still expecting Apple to release standard 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, presumably under the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus monikers, complete with the use of existing LCD display technology. The use of OLED will likely be exclusive for the top-end 5.8-inch model because there is simply no manufacturer out there that could meet Apple’s demand of OLED panels for iPhones. It is important to note that OLED panels are difficult to manufacture in comparison to traditional LCD/LED panels.
If accurate, the aforementioned iPhone would very much be offered as a “Pro” model that would stand out from the other two models.
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