iPhone 2020: Apple’s Phone May Feature High-End Screens for Budget Buyers
Apple is set to use organic light-emitting diode screens across the board with next year’s iPhone launch, a report claimed Tuesday. The screen technology is already in use on the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max, but Apple’s move would ensure none of its new devices would ship with liquid crystal displays like those found on the iPhone XR.
The new display, more commonly known as OLED, offers a number of benefits like the ability to individually switch off pixels, offering deep blacks without any greyish backlight illumination. The $749 XR, which launched alongside the $999 XS and $1,099 XS Max in September 2018 but has seen middling sales, offers a typical contrast ratio of just 1,400 to one with its LCD screen, while its more expensive siblings offer a one million to one ratio. The Wall Street Journal report claims the move would also “allow for more flexible handset design.”
The more flexible design could make manufacturing simpler for Apple. The company pioneered its buttonless design with the iPhone X, switching to a face recognition system built into a cutout at the top of the screen. Apple demonstrated at its launch how it was bending the panel at the top to reach the furthest edges. For the XR, Apple reportedly developed a 0.3t LCD chip with connectors measuring around 2-2.5mm, down from the 4-4.5mm found on the 0.4t chip in most smartphones that would allow Apple to achieve a similar design to the iPhone X while using a cheaper yet inflexible LCD screen. Despite this, the XR still comes with a bezel around 1mm thicker than the 4mm bezel on the iPhone XS.
Beyond a more uniform bezel design, using OLED across the board would create a more consistent visual look. With LCD-based iPhones, user interfaces with a dark design still cast a fairly bright glow, an effect that’s particularly noticeable on the XR as it draws attention to the notch. Apple brought a system-wide dark mode to the Mac last year, and switching to OLED across the iPhone range would ensure a similar feature for iOS would look produce a consistent result.
Little else is known about Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup, bar rumors that the device may be the first to offer 5G cellular connectivity. Apple tends to announce new devices in the fall, meaning users may have to wait nearly two more years to find out what Apple’s planning.
Of course, a more flexible design could mean something more radical — one leaker claims that Apple could ditch the notch altogether in 2020.