Apple’s iPhone and iPad could deliver some major improvements next year, analysts say.
The tech giant’s next iPhone, which could be known as the iPhone 8, will ship with bigger screen sizes, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn said in a note this week. They say the iPhone 8 will offer a 5-inch screen and iPhone 8 Plus will deliver a 5.8-inch display, according to Business Insider, which obtained a copy of the note. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus offer 4.7- and 5.5-inch screen sizes.
The larger screens would be offered if Apple decides to offer a “bezel-less design” in the iPhone 8, according to the report. Rather than stop the screen before the left and right edges, Apple is expected to offer a design that has the iPhone 8’s display spill over the sides, creating an end-to-end touch surface. On the left and right side, the iPhone 8’s screen would curve, similar to the “edges” in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
In order to deliver that feature, the iPhone 8 will need to ship with organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen technology. It would be the first from Apple to offer OLED. All iPhone versions through the iPhone 7 have run on LCD technology.
“By using a plastic OLED screen, the screen can bend at the edges to allow a curved bezel-less edge,” the analysts reportedly told investors.
Their comments come after several rumors have surfaced saying Apple is working on an OLED-based curved screen. However, Apple has yet to even confirm it’s working on a new smartphone, let alone new display technology, and the analysts acknowledged that the company hasn’t yet made a final decision on the next iPhone’s screen. But evidence suggests Apple’s next iPhone will come with a big display update.
In regards to Apple’s iPad, the analysts said that the company will release new tablets in March. Like the iPhone, the new iPads are expected to come with a “bezel-less” design and offer displays that stretch from one side to another. The 9.7-inch model would become the “low-price” version and complement the higher-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro. What’s more, Apple could announce a new 10.9-inch iPad that would feature the bezel-less design.
Apple currently sells 7.9-, 9.7- and 12.9-inch versions of its iPad. Some had anticipated Apple updating the tablets this year, but the company focused instead on a new iPhone and new MacBook Pro.
There is some debate over when a bezel-less iPad might surface. Although the Barclays analysts say it’s only a matter of months, a KGI Securities analyst said in a research note recently that Apple likely wouldn’t offer OLED and thus, a curved display, in the iPad until 2018.
Apple hasn’t confirmed any of the rumors and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.