Some Apple fans have held off from upgrading to the iPhone 7 because of rumors that next year’s model will include more significant improvements, particularly to the screens.
But a new analyst report casts some doubt on the screen rumors. Only a premium version of the iPhone Plus model will get a much sharper display by replacing current LED technology with higher contrast OLED, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a report on Tuesday. Next year’s standard iPhone Plus and the smaller screened regular iPhone will stick with TFT-LCD display technology, the analyst said.
Apple (AAPL) has improved the iPhone’s screen somewhat in recent years by increasing the range of colors it can show, making photos appear more lifelike for example. But the iPhone’s screen resolution of 750 pixels by 1334 pixels has not changed in the past three models. Meanwhile, competitors like Samsung have been adding more pixels and using OLED to create sharper on-screen images, a far more noticeable improvement than Apple’s color range improvement.
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Analysts have said they expect that a higher proportion of iPhone owners will be interested in upgrading next year, when the device is likely to get the more significant make over. The iPhone 7 had nearly the same exterior as the prior iPhone 6S and the two year old iPhone 6, except for the elimination of the earphone jack and the addition of a two-lens camera on the Plus version.
Fortune asked Apple for comment on Kuo’s report and will update this story if a reply is received.
Although many rumors about the upcoming iPhone are likely off base, Kuo has a long track record of mostly accurate predictions. Thanks to close ties to some of Apple’s Asian suppliers, Kuo has correctly predicted many iPhone developments, including the creation of the 4-inch iPhone SE and the addition of a new shiny black color option for this year’s iPhone. Still, Apple could make design changes before the new iPhones are expected to hit the market next fall.
Kuo has previously written that next year’s iPhone would move away from the aluminum body of recent years in favor of stainless steel frame wrapped in glass. The phone may also have a display that runs from edge to edge, without a bezel, like some Samsung Galaxy models.