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(Pocket-lint) - It's nothing new to speculate that Apple will eventually put an OLED screen on the iPhone, it's just a matter of when. Rumours back in March suggested Apple would install one in the iPhone 7S after Apple supposedly inked a deal with LG and Samsung for the mass production of OLED screens.

Now though, it's Sharp's CEO that has pretty much confirmed the iPhone 8 - or iPhone Pro- due for release in September next year to commemorate 10 years of the iPhone, will feature an OLED screen.

Sharp CEO Jeng-wu Tai was speaking at Tatung University in Taiwan over the weekend and said "The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS to OLED panels".
"We don't know whether Apple's OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn't walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity".

If that isn't enough confirmation then we don't know what is.

Tai is also an executive at Foxconn, Sharp's parent company and manufacturer of the iPhone, so we'd say he's in a good position to know what's happening with future models.

Chinese site Nikkei also reports that Apple will release three iPhones in 2017, two that will still use LTPS panels and an iPhone Pro that will get an OLED panel instead. However, Nikkei was also the source of the rumour that Apple was close to signing a deal with LG and Samsung, which hasn't happened, so we'd take the possibility of three iPhones with a pinch of salt for now.

It wouldn't be too farfetched to assume that Apple will use an OLED panel though, as the company already uses them in the Watch. However that's because it's easier to manufacture smaller OLED panels for the watch screen, as opposed to 4.7- to 5.5-inch screens for the iPhone.

Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone in September next year as part of its yearly cycle. Considering it will be the tenth anniversary of the ubiquitous smartphone, we wouldn't be surprised if Apple wanted to radically change the design or components.

Writing by Max Langridge. Originally published on 31 October 2016.