2018 is set to be the battle year for smartphones with Samsung looking to restore their reputation and Apple looking for the magic ingredient that will stop the iPhone decline.
At this stage, there appears to be several options coming, from a Samsung Galaxy 8 with 6 GB of internal RAM and a massive 256 GB to an iPhone with a curved screen that some say will shoot 3D pictures.
Some analysts are wondering why Samsung doesn’t push all the way to 8 GB of RAM.
We believe that this is a good compromise as too much work for the processor could produce excessive heat while sucking juice out of a battery.
Previously Samsung has relied on microSD expansion to offer significant levels of storage on its flagship (the S7 handsets all shipped with just 32 GB of storage). A move towards high levels of built-in storage would bring it into line with the storage options for Apple’s latest iPhones.
Meanwhile Apple is cuddling up to LG who while having one of the best Android smartphones out there with their new V20 is working with Apple on new OLED display technology and cameras that shoot 3D.
Apple suppliers say they have been asked to increase output of thinner organic light emitting displays and submit prototype screens with better resolution than ones from Samsung to differentiate its models.
Right now Apple is under pressure to deliver a hit phone when the iPhone marks its 10th anniversary next year.
An iPhone with an OLED screen could be introduced but it will be expensive as there are very few manufacturers in the world producing OLED and Apple has no capacity to produce any components of their own.
Currently there are 10 prototypes being considered, said sources.
Samsung is already one step ahead of Apple having already shifted from using conventional liquid crystal displays to OLED screens because they are thinner, lighter, and allow for flexible designs.
OLED screens don’t require a backlight component to illuminate the screen. But they could be up to $50 more expensive to produce for Apple, according to analysts’ estimates.
Research firm IHS Markit forecasts revenue in the OLED market for smartphones to surpass the LCD market in 2018 to reach $18.6 billion. Last year, revenue in the smartphone LCD market reached $20.8 billion compared with $10.6 billion for the OLED market.
The Wall Street Journal said that Samsung Display a unit of Samsung Electronics, currently dominates the market for smartphone OLED screens and is one of a few companies that can mass produce the displays. Samsung has long been a supplier of memory chips and other components to Apple but as the two companies compete in the global smartphone market, Apple has diversified its screen suppliers over the years. For that reason, Apple has been relying on LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp for supply of its retina displays, which use LCD technology.
But LG Display, Japan Display, and Sharp are behind Samsung when it comes to OLED investment. Samsung has spent close to $10 billion this year alone to expand its OLED production and research and development, while LG Display plans to invest close to $3 billion by 2018 to expand its production of smartphone OLED screens.