It seems it’s impossible to get away from iPhone rumors these days, even while attending a college graduation ceremony.
Tai Jeng-wu, a president at Sharp and its parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry (which also owns Apple device manufacturer Foxconn), was at his alma mater, Tatung University, to receive an honorary doctorate over the weekend. While onstage accepting the degree, he decided to launch into some thoughts about Apple, and its next iPhone, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Tai explained that Apple is moving to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens—which are lighter and brighter than the technology the company currently employs in its smartphones—potentially as soon as next year. “The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels,” Tai said, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
The Sharp executive also offered his thoughts on the direction of Apple and its increasingly iterative products: “We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation,” Tai said. “It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity.”
Apple released its latest smartphones and laptops in the last two months, both of which have been criticized as underwhelming iterations on their previous editions. That has led some to wonder if Apple can still innovate and excite consumers as it has for the last decade and a half. On Oct. 25, the company posted its first annual decline in revenue and profit in 15 years.
The company is expected to completely overhaul the iPhone for its tenth anniversary in 2017, which analysts are referring to as “the supercycle,” and that could help spur the company back into growth mode. As the Nikkei Asian Review points out, this could mean an entirely redesigned iPhone, reportedly constructed with a glass back and front, held together with strips of metal.
Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on Tai’s speech.