Skip to main content

KGI: Apple unlikely to add AMOLED screens to iPhone as Foxconn builds out new LCD factory

Rose Gold iPhone 6s Plus Apple Watch

In a research note, reliable supply chain analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo is suggesting that Apple is unlikely to bring AMOLED screens to the iPhone for many years to come, through 2018 at least, and almost certainly not coming to the iPhone 7.

OLED iPhones have been a long-running rumor but Apple has remained steadfast with investments in better LCD panels for the most part. Yield for OLED panels continues to be a big issue given the incredible scale Apple requires for iPhone shipments.

Apple started using AMOLED in its product line this year with the Apple Watch, which takes full advantage of the deep blacks OLED screens can create in its user interface, blurring the line between bezel and screen wherever possible. In an interview earlier this year, Jony Ive called the iPhone screen (which cannot reproduce such an effect as LCD contrast levels are not as good) as ‘old’.

Regardless, The KGI note says that Foxconn is investing in a new $4bn LTPS TFT-LCD plant for iPhone screens, a further indication that Apple is not looking to change screen technology anytime soon. The plant is scheduled for mass production in 2018. Although Apple could change course over three years, the current outlook is definitely against AMOLED. Certainly, don’t bet on the iPhone 7 featuring an AMOLED display.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    The problem with AMOLED is that it sucks battery life out of the phone.
    My note 5 can’t even go a full day, But my 6 plus can go 2 days.

    • avieshek - 7 years ago

      Well, certainly don’t blame the hardware when it’s Samsung’s bloatware & malware.

  2. avieshek - 7 years ago

    Oh man! *facepalm*

    So, will jump directly to their Micro-LED?

  3. A Dimension Of Mind - 7 years ago

    The factory build out could be for iPad, Apple is playing a long game with it. I’m still hopeful for OLED in iPhone 7 given they’ve been working with the display tech for Apple Watch, and a nugget of info from Jonny Ive’s New Yorker interview, where he felt displays coming on fully when not needed, to check notifications I presume, was a waste and felt ‘yesterday’

    Fingers crossed for lock screen notifications that are lit pixel by pixel as needed, and 3D Touchable with shortcut menu actions :-)

  4. Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

    I don’t think the larger iphones will switch to oled anytime soon. Apple has been pushing the plus for photography so having very accurate colors is a must. Until Oled is as good or better in that department, the iphone with the best camera, will have the best display to view them.

    A smaller iPhone is still possible. I imagine it won’t have the best camera (since how many people actually care about photos getting better at this point?) and needing to save battery life in a smaller package would make sense to use a more power efficient display. I don’t know. I’m still picturing an apple watch/iphone mashup as a product I’d be more interested in than another pro iphone.

  5. Andrew Zuo - 7 years ago

    That’s disappointing. I was hoping the next iPhone would have an AMOLED display.

  6. Definitely a good news. Do not put AMOLED into iPhones, it’s a crappy technology and I do not want my screen to look like a kindergarten.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.