Every iPhone could get a screen upgrade next year

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A representative at Apple's South Korea office was not available for comment.

A shift to using only organic light-emitting diode screens for iPhones would be challenging, given the sheer volume that Apple sells: 216 million devices in 2017.

While the change is good news for OLED specialist Universal Display, it could spell trouble for LCD screen makers like Japan Display.

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The rumors hit Japan Display, a major supplier of the LCD displays used in iPhones, hard, with its shares falling 10 percent Tuesday morning, Reuters reports.

It has lagged behind South Korean rivals like LG, which also produces OLED screens and experienced a share price boost after rumours about Apple's plans started to circulate.

Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst at IHS Markit, told CNBC that Apple has been seeking to improve iPhone displays to differentiate them from rival offerings.

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OLED has a number of potential advantages over LCD, including better contrast, which is why Apple's most premium model sports it, but ETNews, citing industry sources familiar with the matter, says that every single one of next year's iPhone models will use it.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at Taipei-based Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting, said he doesn't see Apple shifting to OLED screens for its entire lineup in 2019. Even with two OLED models, Apple will need to raise the overall price tag and face the risks of selling fewer iPhones, he said.

Apple is reportedly relying on Samsung to provide its OLED panels for the iPhone X. Apparently LG has also been tapped as an alternative source for OLED display but it was experiencing manufacturing problems which made it fall behind schedule.

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