5.8-Inch iPhone Expected to Have Flat Display Despite 'Curved' Rumors

Apple is widely expected to launch an iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display later this year, made possible by slimmer bezels and no Home button. And while some reports have claimed the screen will be curved like the Galaxy S7 edge, a growing number of sources expect a flat display.

iphone display
"We anticipate Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design," IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam told MacRumors today.

"Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety. This new design language is expected to become the trend for 2017, as we all anticipate Samsung's reveal later this month," he added.

Lam is referring to the LG G6's 5.7-inch LCD display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, meaning the screen's length is double the size of its width. iPhones have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Leaked pictures of Samsung's Galaxy S8 reveal a similarly longer OLED display with slim bezels and no physical home button.

Last month, he noted that the LG G6 achieves a large screen while remaining holdable and pocketable:

LG’s G6 is a study in creating large immersive screen designs that do not break the ergonomic requirements of the average human hand. By addressing dueling consumer demands for larger screens but yet more pocketable device, LG took on the challenge of re-imagining what a modern smartphone should look like and function ergonomically.

While he ruled out having any insider information, display expert Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate told MacRumors that flat OLED displays using a glass substrate "cost considerably less" and are "available in much higher production volumes" than curved OLED displays using a flexible plastic substrate.

"The existing iPhone 7 has 2.5D cover glass with a flat glass LCD display, so Apple could make a similar 2.5D OLED display using a glass substrate OLED display at lower cost and much higher production volumes," he said.

Soneira has been tracking OLED displays in smartphones since 2010, and after a span of just seven years, he believes OLED display technology is now exceeding the performance of the best LCDs for smartphones.

He said OLED displays provide a number of significant advantages over LCDs for smartphones, including being thinner, lighter, and more power efficient for most image content. OLED displays also have a very fast response time, better viewing angles, higher peak brightness, and often better color accuracy.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Chinese research firm TrendForce have also recently said they expect Apple's next flagship iPhone to have 2.5D cover glass, which refers to the slightly curved edges that the front of iPhones have had since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014.

Conversely, The Wall Street Journal recently said Apple's next high-end iPhone will have a curved screen, but the report did not divulge any specific details. The Korea Herald also said the device will have a curved OLED display using a flexible plastic substrate, rather than a flat display based on glass.

IHS Markit analyst Kevin Wang previously expected the 5.8-inch iPhone to have a curved display, possibly with dual curved edges like the Galaxy S7 edge, but the research firm has since reversed course, which is understandable given Apple has reportedly tested at least ten different iPhone prototypes this year.

Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review and Barclays analysts have also outlined expectations for an iPhone with a curved display in the past, so there is clearly a divide between the rumors that might not clear up until "iPhone 8" part leaks likely begin to surface over the coming weeks and months.

One possibility is that reports calling for a "curved" screen are actually referring to the 2.5D cover glass, which would make an edge-to-edge display appear slightly curved. Or, given the flexible properties of OLED, some reports might be simply assuming the next iPhone will have a curved display, when a flat design is still an option.

Samsung is expected to supply Apple with OLED displays in 2017. IHS Markit and other sources expect Apple to use OLED on a larger number of iPhone models in the future. IHS noted the longer aspect ratio will afford Apple new uses of the display, such as Touch Bar-like functionality.

Tag: IHS
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

BSben Avatar
62 months ago
I hope they do stick with flat, curved has no advantage whatsoever. Why would I want to look at curved pictures or videos?
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nighthawk67 Avatar
62 months ago
The more I read MR articles about the next iPhone the more I realize they're like "we don't ******* know"
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scottsoapbox Avatar
62 months ago
Because a curved display is stupid.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AbSoluTc Avatar
62 months ago
I actually welcome the curved display. It can add another dimension to the OS - and we all know iOS needs another dimension.
No thanks. Have you seen the curved screen of the Galaxy phones? It's terrible. Wasted screen real estate and it looks distorted. It's a gimmick, just like curved TV's. Serves no useful purpose no matter how you slice it.

I'll take flat please.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kiko007 Avatar
62 months ago
I actually welcome the curved display. It can add another dimension to the OS - and we all know iOS needs another dimension.
No it doesn't. The last thing iOS needs is more garbage disguised as "features". You don't speak for ALL of us lol....
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eatrains Avatar
62 months ago
How about a flagship small phone one of these days?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
airpods family holiday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:04 am PST by
Black Friday 2021 deals are still going strong into Cyber Monday, and in this article we're tracking the best deals across Apple's AirPods lineup. Throughout the week we've been sharing the best sales for Apple devices like iPhone, Mac, and iPad, so be sure to follow us on Twitter for all of the latest Black Friday sales Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature purple

Kuo: Apple AR Headset Coming in Late 2022 With Mac-Level Computing Power

Thursday November 25, 2021 8:32 pm PST by
Apple's long-rumored augmented reality (AR) headset project is set to bear its first fruit late next year with the launch of the first device carrying a pair of processors to support its high-end capabilities, according to a new research report from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. According to Kuo, the higher-end main processor is said to be similar to the M1 chip Apple...
mac family holiday

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:29 am PST by
Our Black Friday 2021 coverage continues with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac mini today. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...