Apple will likely use OLED screens in all three new iPhone models planned for next year, which would be 2019. This comes from a report in South Korea’s Electronic Times and Apple’s decision to stick with only OLED will mark a departure from the 2018 trend, where the company is expected to introduce two iPhone X variants with an OLED display, and a budget variant with an LCD one.
According to Reuters, the report from South Korea has sent shares in Japan Display tumbling by 10 per cent. Japan Display is one of the main suppliers of Apple iPhone’s liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, and has been lagging in OLED production in comparison to its South Korean rivals like Samsung, LG. In contrast, shares in LG Display Co Ltd surged, added the report.
Apple recently started planning new iPhone models and decided all three models would have organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, the report said on Monday. It quotes unnamed industry sources, though neither Apple nor Japan’s Sharp have officially commented on the report.
The Reuters report adds that Japan Display plans to start mass-producing OLED panels for smartphones only from 2019, and is looking for new investors who can finance investment to launch a production line. “If Apple uses OLED for all models for next year, that could raise hopes for LG Display to take a slice, as Apple may want to diversify its sources for OLED supply,” said Lee Won-sik, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities in Seoul, according to the Reuters.
For Samsung, Apple’s switch to OLED displays will come as good news, considering the company is the biggest supplier of the same. However, it could also mean that Apple will try and explore other vendors like LG Display, given the sheer demand that the iPhone-maker has when it comes to the total number of units per quarter.
“Ultimately, the plan is for Apple to go full OLED on its iPhones as far as I know but whether that’s going to happen at this point is a question mark,” said Jerry Kang, a senior principal analyst at IHS Markit based in Bundang, South Korea, according to Bloomberg. He added, “Apple hasn’t been able to expand on its iPhone X production because of market demand and price issues.”
Apple’s iPhone X was the first phone from the company to sport an OLED display, while the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus continued with the LCD type. However, with the 2018 iPhone X series, Apple will have two phones with an OLED display: this will likely be the 5.8-inch iPhone X for 2018 and the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus. There will also be a 6.2-inch budget iPhone X with an LCD display. All three are expected to sport a notch on the front. Another report from the Electronic Times had also claimed Apple will get rid of the notch design in 2019 with its iPhone series. Apple will reveal the 2018 iPhone X series in September if one goes by the past trend.
With inputs from Reuters, Bloomberg