If you thought Apple was done toying with the iPhone's form factor, you might be in for a little bit of a surprise. According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple is exploring the release of a 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display. What's more, the report claims that such a device may see the light of day as early as 2017 or 2018.
Samsung Display is said to be the "first candidate" to supply these panels, with LG Display and Japan Display joining in later. It's worth noting that although LG Display should be in a position to supply AMOLED displays in high volumes in the 2017, Japan Display has said that it is targeting 2018 for the mass-production start of OLED displays.
Per the note, DIGITIMES' supply chain sources believe that 50 million of these AMOLED-equipped iPhones will make it out to customers in the first year of availability.
Though Apple was once beholden to the iPhone's 3.5-inch form factor, the company in recent years has demonstrated a bit more flexibility as it pertains to screen size. As it stands now, Apple's iPhone lineup primarily consists of two form factors, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. Not everyone, however, is interested in larger-screened devices, a dynamic which arguably contributed to Apple's widely publicized and anticipated 2016 iPhone sales decline.
But Apple, not one to simply rest on its laurels, plans to remedy that soon enough with the impending release of the iPhone SE. Likely slated for introduction later this month, the iPhone SE is effectively a 4-inch iPhone 5s with iPhone 6s internals. As we've reported previously, the device will likely feature an A9 processor, a beefed up camera, faster wireless components, an M9 motion coprocessor, support for live photos and more. Indeed, the only iPhone 6s feature the iPhone SE will reportedly lack is 3D Touch.
Now given that Apple with the iPhone SE is about to make its smartphone lineup more diverse with respect to screen size, it perhaps stands to reason that releasing a phone with an even larger display than the iPhone 6s isn't entirely outside the realm of comprehension.
Of course, any rumor coming from Digitimes should be taken with a grain of salt, but it's also worth noting that Apple's interest in OLED displays is hardly a well-kept secret. To that end, a recent report from the rumor mill even suggested that the iPhone 7s may ship with an OLED display. Previously, it was believed that Apple wouldn't release a device and an OLED screen until the iPhone 8. But according to some reports, Apple is hoping to shake up its product roadmap in an effort to offset any potential for a drop-off in iPhone sales going forward.