Recent reports that have surfaced online suggest that Apple’s 2017 smartphone, the iPhone 7S or 8, is highly probable to come with a Samsung-manufactured OLED display, refreshed aesthetics and extra new features.

Despite Cupertino preparing to shift to top gear for the iPhone 7 launch, which is expected to come off the wraps in September, industry analysts and speculations regarding the successor of the not-yet-released next iPhone have already emerged online.

MacRumors, citing The Korea Herald, reports that Apple Inc. has sealed a deal with Samsung Display Co. for $2.59 billion, where the latter will be providing Cupertino with 100 million 5.5-inch OLED panels. According to the terms of the deal, the South Korean giant will be assigned with the particular task starting in 2017, and deliver accordingly on an annual basis. The source does not mention the life of the agreement.

The above news does not come as a surprise, though, as Apple expressing a desire toward the particular display technology originally came to light this January, where Reuters reported that Cupertino was seeking for cooperation with both LG Display and Samsung. Building on that, sources close to Samsung suggested that the company speculated a whopping $7.47 billion in OLED manufacturing equipment, thus meeting Apple’s production requests.

Ιt is also said that Cupertino was in talks with an additional two players of the specific industry; AU Optronics and Japan Display.

When it comes to why Apple seems to desperately want to include OLED in its premier handset series, that would lie on the fact that the particular technology renders backlighting unnecessary, as opposed to traditional LCD panels, essentially enabling Cupertino to decrease the thickness of the iPhone, and therefore its body weight presumably as well. Furthermore, OLEDs consume much less energy than LCDs, which is big news for the iPhone’s classic poor battery performance, as well as offer enhanced color reproduction and sharper images.

Though, on the downside, as MacRumors has correctly pointed out, Apple will possibly have to tackle higher manufacturing expenses and shorter lifespan issues.

E7RY09 Apple Silver iPhone 6 Plus showing the home screen with iOS 8.
E7RY09 Apple Silver iPhone 6 Plus showing the home screen with iOS 8.

Moreover, it was initially predicted that Cupertino’s OLED incorporation to the iPhone will commence in 2018, with the iPhone 8 — the 12th generation of the series —, though relying on the just-emerged deal, sources believe that the date has been pushed up to 2017.

A subscriber to this idea is KGI Securities analyst Min-Chi Kuo, further adding that Apple is planning to roll out the specific panels with the larger iPhone 7S Plus, which he estimates will grow from 5.5″ to 5.8-inches, accompanied by a curved glass frame. Similarly, the iPhone 7S’ display will size up to 5.2-inches from 4.7″, originally introduced with the iPhone 6.

Additionally, Kuo also estimates that Apple will put the iPhone 7S under a major design overhaul, a move that would break Apple’s tradition of the “two-year cycle”, during which the company substantially changes the design every two years. The analyst also provided a relatively detailed insight regarding Apple’s design plans for 2017, expecting a glass-backed device, curved casing, joined by wireless charging and biometric recognition.

It is worth adding that the sole two installments of the series that came with a glass-back were the 2010 iPhone 4, and its consecutive successor, the 2011 iPhone 4S. In 2012 Apple switched to aluminum, where it maintains to date.