Sony is likely working on its first OLED smartphone, according to a job listing posted by the company.
Xperia Blog recently spotted Sony’s mobile division post a job listing for a ‘Display Engineer.’ In the listing, Sony says “OLED experience is a must,” adding, via one of the position’s job descriptions, “OLED integration to mobile phone products (design/verification/production).”
Based on the listing, it seems likely, at the very least, that Sony is considering the display technology for its future devices.
OLED panels present a number of advantages to smartphone manufacturers, with one of the major ones being that they allow manufacturers to more easily produce bezel-less devices like the Galaxy S8.
With the OmniBalance design of Sony’s Xperia handsets being something that is often held against its smartphones, moving to OLED displays would help make the company close the gap between itself and its competitors.
What the listing doesn’t provide is a hint as to when Sony might launch an OLED display smartphone. Another unknown is what company would provide Sony with panels.
One of the major obstacles for smaller smartphone OEMs attempting to build their own bezel-less smartphones has been sourcing the necessary panels at scale.
Currently, Samsung is the leading supplier of smartphone-sized OLED panels, with companies like LG in a distant second in terms of overall shipments (and quality of panels). Between demand for its own bezel-less phones and Apple’s iPhone X, the majority of Samsung’s curved OLED stock is thought to be tied up for the foreseeable future.
Granted, there’s noting in the listing to suggest Sony is working on a bezel-less OLED display smartphone; the company could be working on a traditional 16:9 display smartphone that just so happens to feature a OLED panel, instead of a LCD panel.
However, in a recent interview with the Indian Express, Sony India managing director Kenichiro Hibi said the company was working on a new design for 2018.
“We are planning to launch [a] new generation of products and you can expect a complete new design from the devices,” said Hibi.
In that same interview, he said Sony would release the newly redesigned phone “soon,” and even hinted the company would adopt the 18:9 aspect ratio used by some of its competitors.
With Mobile World Congress just around the corner, we’ll likely see if Sony has been able to put together the talent and supply chain necessary for its first OLED smartphone soon.