With the iPhone 8 (or whatever it ends up being called) set to be unveiled at Apple’s product event next week, more attention is being given to its $1000+ price tag. But according to a new report from KGI securities, the wallet-crushing cost isn’t Apple’s fault; blame Samsung.
Apple Insider reported on analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s note to investors, which claims that as Samsung is the only firm able to produce OLED parts on the scale required by Apple, it has put the Korean company in a position where it can charge a premium rate.
As the new iPhone makes the switch from LCD to OLED panels, KGI suspects Apple is paying more than double what it did for screens in previous models. Specifically, the cost is said to have gone up from $45 - $55 per unit to $120 - $130, with the increase being passed on to the consumer.
Kuo said this means “Apple is in urgent need of finding a second source of OLED." It will take time to find a supplier who can match the quality and quantity of the OLEDs produced by Samsung, but LG seems like the obvious choice, especially as Apple reportedly invested $2 billion into LG Display as an advanced payment for future smartphone OLED screens.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple ordered another 60 million OLED panels from Samsung, bringing the total quantity to 160 million.
In addition to the OLED screens, Kuo mentioned another element of the upcoming iPhone. As previously rumored, he suggested that Touch ID may be abandoned in the new handset, as embedding it under an OLED screen creates unfavorable scan-through performance. Facial recognition technology is expected to take its place.