iPhone 7 rumors? Whatever. We’re on those iPhone 7S rumors now, with multiple reports coming out today that the normally frosty relations between Apple and Samsung just got a couple billion dollars warmer. Word is that the two companies, after years of legal battles earlier in the decade, have reached a deal for Apple to purchase 100 million Samsung OLED displays for use in the 2017 iPhone.
The Chinese version of The Wall Street Journal and The Korean Herald both are reporting that earlier this month, Apple agreed to pay $2.6 billion to Samsung to acquire 100 million 5.5″ OLED displays to be used in production of devices in 2017. That would imply that the Plus size of the iPhone will stay the same this year and through the 7S series launch next year. Neither company has issued a statement on the reports.
It’s great for Samsung, and it’s great for iPhone adherents. Over the past few years, high-end Android phones have blown past the iPhone in display quality, many of which use Samsung’s AMOLED displays. Apple’s phones, still using older LCD technology, have lagged behind in resolution and brightness, something that will finally change in 2017. So, if you want to just ignore those iPhone 7 rumors and be content to wait for the 7S, we don’t blame you.
Some of that $2.6 billion might end up being Samsung paying itself. Late last year, Samsung finally agreed to pay Apple $548 million over one of multiple patent infringement lawsuits involving the two companies. However, Samsung retained the right to get the money back, with the intention of appealing the decision — an appeal the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear late last month. Whatever happens, Samsung is getting a pretty nice paycheck with the OLED deal, but I’m sure Apple would like nothing more than to pay Samsung with some of their own money.