There’s still so much we don’t know (for sure) about Apple’s anniversary edition iPhone this year, starting with the name of the first highly anticipated OLED model, but we can’t just rehash the same speculation over and over again.

Instead, it could be interesting to try to anticipate what Cupertino might have in store for the world’s most successful high-end smartphone family down the line. Of course, plans for 2018’s iPhone 9 (8s?) are likely in a constant state of flux at the moment, depending among many other things on exactly how advanced and game-changing the 8 ultimately comes to pass.

In the long haul, it’s safe to predict Apple would love to reduce its reliance on certain parts suppliers, especially in areas where a multi-vendor strategy can’t be adopted right now. And especially where cooperation with industry arch-rivals is currently mandatory.

As OLED panels are expected to become the norm, even for humbler devices, in a measly few years, LG should provide a decent backup for Samsung very soon, followed by other display manufacturers which could come together and replace the chaebol entirely… someday.

In order to help smaller, less resourceful such companies grow and break Samsung’s monopoly, Apple has reportedly bought some special, costly and rare equipment itself. Namely, chemical vapor deposition (CVC) machines to “build a 2.5G OLED panel line to develop related technology and products in Taiwan.”

In theory, Apple could choose to manufacture its own organic light-emitting diode screens for next-gen iPhones, but it feels way more likely the tech giant will simply let its specialized partners use this state-of-the-art machinery for mutually beneficial purposes. In a nutshell, this means it’s probably going to be easier to sell the iPhone 9 in decent numbers straight off the bat. We hope.

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