Apple and Samsung have signed a deal worth £1.83 billion, which will see the Korean company deliver 100 million OLED screens per year for use in future iPhones.
It means Apple’s smartphones will finally have displays to match the very best Android devices out there.
But there’s a catch. OLED won’t be making it to the iPhone until 2017.
Here are five reasons why Apple is too late to the party.
1 Samsung and LG are already way out in front
OLED screens are hardly new. They’ve been around for years and are currently starring in the very best new smartphones of 2016.
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, plus LG’s G5, both use the tech.
It means the screens on those devices look sharper and brighter than those on the current iPhone line-up, without taking as much power.
Apple’s lagging so far behind it’s almost beyond belief.
2 The tech will have moved on
Apple’s deal with Samsung won’t see it deliver OLED screens until 2017.
The result is that the iPhone 7 will have the same LCD tech as the iPhone 6s, meaning even the next generation of iPhones won’t match up to the competition in the screen stakes.
Chances are that by the time Apple releases a new iPhone with OLED technology at the end of next year, Samsung and LG will have edged even further ahead with even better tech.
3 Apple needs a rival for the Galaxy S7 Edge
The report detailing Apple and Samsung’s deal says that the order is for 5.5–inch displays.
That’s the same size as those found on the iPhone 6s Plus.
This seems to scotch rumours that Apple was looking to order larger 5.8–inch displays, designed to warp around the edge of a new iPhone, giving it a rival to Samsung’s superb and hugely popular Galaxy S7 Edge.
If Apple doesn’t deliver a curved screen phone, it’ll be seen as staid and dated.
It’s the same as its years-long refusal to raise the screen size of its iPhones when all evidence showed that’s what consumers wanted.
4 It should have been ready this year
The iPhone 7 is supposed to be what tech fans call a ‘tick’ year. That means we can look forward to a major design overhaul to go with all those fancy new specs.
Now though, any new screen will be held back for the iPhone 7s.
Apple may have a new approach to how it releases its phones that’s not been revealed yet, but surely it should have had OLED primed and ready to go in 2016.
5 Sales are dropping, so why not strike now?
Apple can point to big revenues from its iPhone and App Store sales.
But the simple fact is that sales of its smartphone are set to decline when results for its January to March quarter are revealed in the next few weeks.
Without cutting edge features like OLED, that’s likely to continue for some time.
If it had ordered OLED screens a year ago, maybe it wouldn’t be facing up to a drop in iPhone sales for the first time ever.