(Pocket-lint) - Apple's next flagship iPhone, the iPhone X, could feature an OLED display, rather than the LCD screens found on previous iPhones.
This is a big deal, if you care about screen technology. The average user likely won't notice it, nor will they really care, but we expect Apple to brag about the advancement and focus on it as a way of differentiating the iPhone X from all other iPhones, including the LCD-packing iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which should be announced alongside the iPhone X as modest upgrades to last year's iPhones.
That's because OLED is new for Apple, but if you use Samsung Galaxy phones or even the Google Pixel or new Essential Phone, you'll already be familiar with the technology. Heck, Samsung has been using OLED displays for about seven years. Still, here's everything you need to know about OLED, just in case you're unaware. We'll update this piece when Apple makes its OLED iPhone X official, too.
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What is iPhone X?
Apple introduced the original iPhone in 2007, so that means 2017 is the 10th anniversary of iPhone. The company is believed to be celebrating the occasion by revealing a premium flagship iPhone during an event on 12 September. This flagship, called iPhone X, was once thought to be called iPhone 8. It'll be a high-spec'd phone that boasts an OLED display, wireless charging, a 3D facial scanner, and more.
Check out Pocket-lint's round-up for more details about iPhone X.
What's OLED and does it differ from LCD?
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. In short, it's a type of display technology that's very different from LCD (liquid crystal display), as it creates light within every pixel to create a picture, instead of using a separate backlighting system. The result gives you better, deeper blacks; it doesn't have to cover up the backlight and therefore produces an infinite contrast ratio.
You should see a more vivid, crystal-clear picture with a wider gamut array. Just put a Samsung Galaxy S8 next to Apple's iPhone 7, and you'll quickly see the difference. Now, this an oversimplification of the technology, but you get the point.
Are there any cons to OLED?
OLED technology isn't perfect. It does have its own shortcomings. The biggest issue affecting early OLED displays concerned the material used to produce blue light. It degraded at a much faster rate than the other hues, disrupting the colour balance and reducing the overall brightness. Nowadays, OLED displays are more known for being susceptible to burn-in rather than colour shifting.
Burn-in happens when you leave an image on the screen for a long time - the image can be burned into the display over time. But LCD screens can also experience burn-in. Now, according to a report from 9to5Mac, which received a leaked copy of the final build of iOS 11 before Apple had a chance to release it to the public, the latest version of iOS references a burn-in mitigation for iPhone X.
Apple must be worried about the iPhone X's OLED display causing burn-in, as the home screen clock and the status bar on the top of the display don't move. Since they stay on the screen, they could leave behind a faint impression that you'll see while looking at other apps.
What to expect from OLED iPhone X
The iPhone X is rumoured to have an OLED display that goes all the way to the edges. Unfortunately, OLED displays are typically more expensive, and so it's no surprise to hear that the iPhone X is expected to cost more than $1,000. But, when iPhone X does launch, it'll reportedly have an iOS-based feature that prevents any burn-in. We think it'll give Samsung's flagships a run for their money.