Samsung is sole supplier of costly 'iPhone 8' OLED, putting Apple in 'urgent need' of alte...

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in iPhone edited September 2017
The upcoming launch of the "iPhone 8" will reportedly see Apple in a precarious position in terms of parts, as the only company currently capable of producing OLED panels for the new edge-to-edge display is said to be rival Samsung.


"iPhone 8" render. | Source: Gordon Kelly and Nodus


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a note to investors on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, revealing that Samsung has strong bargaining power against Apple.

He suspects that the OLED displays for the "iPhone 8" cost Apple between $120 and $130 per unit -- well beyond the $45 to $55 per unit Apple is said to pay for the iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch LCD screen.

According to Kuo, "Apple is in urgent need of finding a second source of OLED." Any diversity in the supply chain will take time, however, as competing display makers need to not only ramp up OLED output, but also master manufacturing of the next-generation display technology to meet Apple's quality control standards.




Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. In Wednesday's note, he suggested that Apple "may abandon" its Touch ID technology in favor of the OLED display, but stopped short of saying definitively that it has been removed from the handset, which will be revealed in less than a week.

"We believe 3D Touch module could be unfavorable for scan-through performance of under-display fingerprint recognition," Kuo said, "which is one of the main reasons why OLED iPhone may abandon fingerprint recognition."

All the mysteries will be resolved next Tuesday, when Apple is holding an event to presumably unveil its next-generation iPhone lineup, headlined by the flagship "iPhone 8." Other names given to the unannounced product include "iPhone Pro," "iPhone Edition," and "iPhone X."

The device is expected to carry a premium price starting at around $1,000, and will be flanked by successors to the iPhone 7 lineup, sporting legacy (and cheaper) LCD technology.

In addition, a new "Series 3" Apple Watch with integrated LTE radio, and a new 4K Apple TV with support for HDR content, are expected to be announced at the event. AppleInsider will be there live, at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, with full coverage and analysis.

Why OLED?

A traditional LCD screen is considered transmissive -- individual elements change color, but are at the mercy of assorted backlight technologies for presentation. OLED screens are emissive, meaning that each individual pixel is its own light source with brightness being able to be set per pixel.

As a result, OLED technology can have has significant power efficiency improvements over LCD screens, assuming software is utilized appropriately. For instance, a truly black pixel consumes no power, allowing for other utilizations of an OLED screen, such as only using a small portion of it for a constant time and notification display, with minimal impact to battery life.

Without the need for a backlight, an OLED screen can be thinner than competing technologies, all other factors equal. OLED response times can theoretically reach 0.01 milliseconds, versus 1 millisecond for modern LCD screens.




Market watchdogs believe that by 2020, OLED technology will be seen in 40 percent of all smartphones sold.

But, production remains more complicated than traditional LED screens. A speck of dust can ruin an entire screen during initial fabrication, and water impingement is a major problem for screens in-use. Even a small amount of water contacting the organic substrate of the screen can immediately damage the display, necessitating replacement.

Samsung remains the dominant producer of OLED

Other than Samsung, there are several vendors of OLED panels. However, at this time even with vendor's government aid and Apple's support, none come close to approaching the volume of the Samsung fabrication plants, and won't for a while.

Samsung holds the vast majority of OLED technology patents, with Samsung holding 97.7 percent of global production in April of 2016. Manufacturing problems remain the primary hurdle to wider success by others.

Samsung appears to be banking on Apple being a major customer for some time for the technology. After rumors in April surfaced about increased OLED production contracts from Apple, Samsung was said to be bulking up factories for production of the screens.

Other companies said to be heavily investing in OLED are Japan Display, and LG Display. When efforts by either company will produce sufficient volume for Apple is not clear.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. 
    No, that is not what he said, and that is not the way others are reporting this same information. I understand you refuse to accept this reality about Touch ID, but it's time.

    If you want to keep calling it iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone Edition) until next week, and keep pretending it might have Touch ID (which it doesn't)...fine. Just know that means your articles will be the least accurate out there for the next 6 days.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Who's going to mass produce Micro-LED panels?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    Who's going to mass produce Micro-LED panels?
    My guess would be Sony since they are the only large company I know of investing in the technology. 
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. 
    No, that is not what he said, and that is not the way others are reporting this same information. I understand you refuse to accept this reality about Touch ID, but it's time.

    If you want to keep calling it iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone Edition) until next week, and keep pretending it might have Touch ID (which it doesn't)...fine. Just know that means your articles will be the least accurate out there for the next 6 days.
    I have a copy of the note right here. You don't. As I said (and specifically quoted) in the story, Kuo wrote that Apple "may" ditch Touch ID. He didn't say they will, and he was not definitive. He said they may. His words.

    You are clearly very passionate about this subject, and I respect that, but I am simply reporting what the dude wrote — no ulterior motive or agenda, I can assure you.
    fotoformatradarthekatwonkothesanemuthuk_vanalingam[Deleted User]watto_cobragatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,442member
    nhughes said:
    Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. 
    No, that is not what he said, and that is not the way others are reporting this same information. I understand you refuse to accept this reality about Touch ID, but it's time.

    If you want to keep calling it iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone Edition) until next week, and keep pretending it might have Touch ID (which it doesn't)...fine. Just know that means your articles will be the least accurate out there for the next 6 days.
    I have a copy of the note right here. You don't. As I said (and specifically quoted) in the story, Kuo wrote that Apple "may" ditch Touch ID. He didn't say they will, and he was not definitive. He said they may. His words.

    You are clearly very passionate about this subject, and I respect that, but I am simply reporting what the dude wrote — no ulterior motive or agenda, I can assure you.
    Sounds fair enough to me. 
    nhughespscooter63macky the macky
  • Reply 6 of 37
    "He suspects that the OLED displays for the "iPhone 8" cost Apple between $120 and $130 per unit -- well beyond the $45 to $55 per unit Apple is said to pay for the iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch LCD screen."

    So ... the site that is infamous for defending Apple's high-margin pricing strategy AND criticizing consumers for buying cheaper Microsoft, Android, Linux etc. alternatives AND attacking people who criticize Apple's fees (i.e. developers over the app store's 30% fee) AND attacking suppliers like Nokia, Qualcomm, the University of Wisconsin etc. for wanting Apple to pay practically nothing - or in fact nothing at all - for their IP (patent trolls they are called?) claiming that someone else is somehow fleecing Apple? This is rich.

    Consumer: "I have five kids and elderly grandparents to take care of on a blue collar salary. I can't afford an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. I need to get an Android phone, Android tablet and a Windows PC instead and pay 75% less in the process." Apple Insider fans reply: "You are a horrible, terrible, very bad, no good, evil immoral person!

    These are the same people who don't want Apple to have to pay $60 dollars more to benefit from what is clearly superior tech from the only company in the world that is able to supply it to them (because they, er, invented it). Amazing ...
    avon b7muthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 7 of 37
    ksecksec Posts: 1,512member
    1. MicroLED aren't likely coming to Apple Watch or iPhone. At any rate they may come to TV first, before the tech move into smaller devices if at all.

    2. The amount of Quality improvement coming from OLED each year is quite staggering. Apart from energy usage in white background it now outperforms LCD in all areas.

    3.The problem is Samsung OLED is so far ahead of JDI and LG, I highly doubt both could get a competitive OLED out next year, and even if they do, the capacity and yield will definitely not fit Apple, i.e Samsung will likely still be 80% of OLED supplier for next year's iPhone.

    4.Reading from post on Weibo the cost est is off quite a bit, not to mention the cost of cutting OLED into irregular shape is 100% being done by Sharp, not Samsung. 
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Seems like a lot of speculation and not much else. Why do rumor sites give this guy so much attention?
  • Reply 9 of 37

    Consumer: "I have five kids and elderly grandparents to take care of on a blue collar salary. I can't afford an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. I need to get an Android phone, Android tablet and a Windows PC instead and pay 75% less in the process." Apple Insider fans reply: "You are a horrible, terrible, very bad, no good, evil immoral person!

    Others of us would say...
    If you really,really, really have to change your phone then come October there will be plenty of iPhone 7's  hitting the Pawn shops etc. Get a secondhand one and save yourself the grief from your family. You don't have to upgrade to the new iPhone. The same goes for Mac's.
    A lot of these fair weather Apple fanbois have more money than sense and change their phones and laptops almost as often as they change their nappies. :blush: You can benefit from their foolishness/craving for the next bit of shiny-shiny to be released by Apple.

    StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Seems like a lot of speculation and not much else. Why do rumor sites give this guy so much attention?
    Because he has been the first to accurately report on many upcoming hardware decisions, including the expected OLED screen, glass back, and facial recognition capabilities of the "iPhone 8" way back in March of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/03/26/new-iphone-model-with-curved-glass-case-58-amoled-display-due-in-2017-insider-says

    And the 10.5-inch iPad Pro back in August of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/08/15/apple-to-debut-105-ipad-pro-in-2017-integrate-flexible-amoled-tech-in-2018

    And the new 9.7-inch entry-level iPad in January of this year:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/08/apple-on-track-to-launch-three-new-ipads-in-spring-2017-but-none-of-them-mini

    And the (alleged) $1000-and-up pricing of the "iPhone 8" this February:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/02/15/apples-iphone-8-to-replace-touch-id-home-button-with-function-area

    And the features and capabilities of HomePod in March:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/01/apples-siri-based-echo-competitor-to-carry-premium-price-feature-high-end-audio-with-1-woofer-7-tweeters

    Is his track record perfect? No, it's not. But nobody else out there provides, in terms of quantity, more accurate information on Apple's hardware pipeline than Ming-Chi Kuo. Not Gruber, not Gurman, not anyone else.
    wonkothesanemacky the mackylolliverfirelockmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 11 of 37
    nhughes said:
    Seems like a lot of speculation and not much else. Why do rumor sites give this guy so much attention?
    Because he has been the first to accurately report on many upcoming hardware decisions, including the expected OLED screen, glass back, and facial recognition capabilities of the "iPhone 8" way back in March of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/03/26/new-iphone-model-with-curved-glass-case-58-amoled-display-due-in-2017-insider-says

    And the 10.5-inch iPad Pro back in August of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/08/15/apple-to-debut-105-ipad-pro-in-2017-integrate-flexible-amoled-tech-in-2018

    And the new 9.7-inch entry-level iPad in January of this year:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/08/apple-on-track-to-launch-three-new-ipads-in-spring-2017-but-none-of-them-mini

    And the (alleged) $1000-and-up pricing of the "iPhone 8" this February:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/02/15/apples-iphone-8-to-replace-touch-id-home-button-with-function-area

    And the features and capabilities of HomePod in March:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/01/apples-siri-based-echo-competitor-to-carry-premium-price-feature-high-end-audio-with-1-woofer-7-tweeters

    Is his track record perfect? No, it's not. But nobody else out there provides, in terms of quantity, more accurate information on Apple's hardware pipeline than Ming-Chi Kuo. Not Gruber, not Gurman, not anyone else.
    You keep doing wha you’re doing. It’s great. Some on here want to criticize anything and everything not 100% pro Apple. 
    nhughesavon b7pscooter63macky the mackylollivermuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,712moderator
    "He suspects that the OLED displays for the "iPhone 8" cost Apple between $120 and $130 per unit -- well beyond the $45 to $55 per unit Apple is said to pay for the iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch LCD screen."

    So ... the site that is infamous for defending Apple's high-margin pricing strategy AND criticizing consumers for buying cheaper Microsoft, Android, Linux etc. alternatives AND attacking people who criticize Apple's fees (i.e. developers over the app store's 30% fee) AND attacking suppliers like Nokia, Qualcomm, the University of Wisconsin etc. for wanting Apple to pay practically nothing - or in fact nothing at all - for their IP (patent trolls they are called?) claiming that someone else is somehow fleecing Apple? This is rich.

    Consumer: "I have five kids and elderly grandparents to take care of on a blue collar salary. I can't afford an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. I need to get an Android phone, Android tablet and a Windows PC instead and pay 75% less in the process." Apple Insider fans reply: "You are a horrible, terrible, very bad, no good, evil immoral person!

    These are the same people who don't want Apple to have to pay $60 dollars more to benefit from what is clearly superior tech from the only company in the world that is able to supply it to them (because they, er, invented it). Amazing ...
    You're reading a lot into an article simply reporting what an analyst said.  Also, the most prevalent argument for the cost of Apple products I've heard made here by Apple Insider commenters is that you get what you pay for.  IPhones, for example, tend to have a longer usable life and higher resale value, both of which contribute to a lower total cost of ownership.  Also, your hypothetical parent of five kids is certainly free to buy non-Apple products.  The problem isn't which products you buy/use, its coming here to an Apple-centric site and claiming things Apple Insider commenters, as a whole, are not guilty of, and having made that claim, excoriating us.
    edited September 2017 pscooter63StrangeDayslollivermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. 
    No, that is not what he said, and that is not the way others are reporting this same information. I understand you refuse to accept this reality about Touch ID, but it's time.

    If you want to keep calling it iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone Edition) until next week, and keep pretending it might have Touch ID (which it doesn't)...fine. Just know that means your articles will be the least accurate out there for the next 6 days.
    I think the value of rumor info drops to zero the moment the final product is released, so I wouldn't over-state the value of info that has at most a 6-day shelf-life. Besides, there is no SEO reason to call it iPhone Edition until Apple officially unveils the name and everyone starts calling it that.
    lollivermuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 37
    ksec said:
    1. MicroLED aren't likely coming to Apple Watch or iPhone. At any rate they may come to TV first, before the tech move into smaller devices if at all.
    Probably the opposite is true. It is much harder to manufacture a huge defect free panel with 10M pixels, vs a much smaller panel with 120k pixels, don't you think?
    If you have a certain probability that a certain pixel ends up dead due to production, you surely will get a MUCH higher probability of having at least 1 defect, with a 10Mpx panel, comparing to 120kpx panel. That is why it took so long for Apple to get 4k and 5k panels into their products.
    edited September 2017 nhughespscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 37
    I wonder how much Samsung (mobility or what they're called) pay for an "infinity" display. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    nhughes said:
    Seems like a lot of speculation and not much else. Why do rumor sites give this guy so much attention?
    Because he has been the first to accurately report on many upcoming hardware decisions, including the expected OLED screen, glass back, and facial recognition capabilities of the "iPhone 8" way back in March of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/03/26/new-iphone-model-with-curved-glass-case-58-amoled-display-due-in-2017-insider-says

    And the 10.5-inch iPad Pro back in August of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/08/15/apple-to-debut-105-ipad-pro-in-2017-integrate-flexible-amoled-tech-in-2018

    And the new 9.7-inch entry-level iPad in January of this year:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/08/apple-on-track-to-launch-three-new-ipads-in-spring-2017-but-none-of-them-mini

    And the (alleged) $1000-and-up pricing of the "iPhone 8" this February:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/02/15/apples-iphone-8-to-replace-touch-id-home-button-with-function-area

    And the features and capabilities of HomePod in March:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/01/apples-siri-based-echo-competitor-to-carry-premium-price-feature-high-end-audio-with-1-woofer-7-tweeters

    Is his track record perfect? No, it's not. But nobody else out there provides, in terms of quantity, more accurate information on Apple's hardware pipeline than Ming-Chi Kuo. Not Gruber, not Gurman, not anyone else.
    If you announce a 1000 things a year. A few are bound to be right, either put siome stat out or stop pushing your narrative. Yoû're suffering from confirmation biad and cherry picking. 

    Also, he constantly revise his so called predictions  so how can he be wrong? He does that to everything he says ever; aka a crapshoot.

    he knows only remember the right guesses and not the wrong ones

    anton zuykov
  • Reply 17 of 37
    foggyhill said:
    nhughes said:
    Seems like a lot of speculation and not much else. Why do rumor sites give this guy so much attention?
    Because he has been the first to accurately report on many upcoming hardware decisions, including the expected OLED screen, glass back, and facial recognition capabilities of the "iPhone 8" way back in March of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/03/26/new-iphone-model-with-curved-glass-case-58-amoled-display-due-in-2017-insider-says

    And the 10.5-inch iPad Pro back in August of 2016:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/08/15/apple-to-debut-105-ipad-pro-in-2017-integrate-flexible-amoled-tech-in-2018

    And the new 9.7-inch entry-level iPad in January of this year:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/08/apple-on-track-to-launch-three-new-ipads-in-spring-2017-but-none-of-them-mini

    And the (alleged) $1000-and-up pricing of the "iPhone 8" this February:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/02/15/apples-iphone-8-to-replace-touch-id-home-button-with-function-area

    And the features and capabilities of HomePod in March:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/01/apples-siri-based-echo-competitor-to-carry-premium-price-feature-high-end-audio-with-1-woofer-7-tweeters

    Is his track record perfect? No, it's not. But nobody else out there provides, in terms of quantity, more accurate information on Apple's hardware pipeline than Ming-Chi Kuo. Not Gruber, not Gurman, not anyone else.
    If you announce a 1000 things a year. A few are bound to be right, either put siome stat out or stop pushing your narrative. Yoû're suffering from confirmation biad and cherry picking. 

    Also, he constantly revise his so called predictions  so how can he be wrong? He does that to everything he says ever; aka a crapshoot.

    he knows only remember the right guesses and not the wrong ones

    You're welcome to look through our past coverage and see for yourself. We cover his notes for a reason — because no one else provides more accurate and regular updates on upcoming hardware. That's really all there is to it.

    http://appleinsider.com/topic/ming-chi+kuo
    lollivermuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Interestingly, Kuo still seems unsure as to whether the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. 
    No, that is not what he said, and that is not the way others are reporting this same information. I understand you refuse to accept this reality about Touch ID, but it's time.

    If you want to keep calling it iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone Edition) until next week, and keep pretending it might have Touch ID (which it doesn't)...fine. Just know that means your articles will be the least accurate out there for the next 6 days.
    I think the value of rumor info drops to zero the moment the final product is released, so I wouldn't over-state the value of info that has at most a 6-day shelf-life. Besides, there is no SEO reason to call it iPhone Edition until Apple officially unveils the name and everyone starts calling it that.
    Yet apparently no one thought ahead to the fact that the 7s is actually called the iPhone 8, which is sure to cause a gigantic clusterfuck of confusion for people just getting on the topic next week, looking back over months of confusing and mislabeled information.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Oh. Kuo. All he has is his supply chain spies and beyond that he's got nothin'.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 20 of 37
    sog35 said:
    iPhone Edition?
     My guess is iPhone X.
    The problem iPhone X ("ten") and iPhone 8 is that it creates the obvious dilemma: "What happened to iPhone 9?"
    edited September 2017
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