2020 iPhone lineup appears set to use OLED screens across the board

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 22
A report into the misfortunes of LCD supplier Japan Display claims that the company is in trouble because of slow sales of the iPhone XR and will not recover because Apple is moving to OLED for all its phones in 2019.




Reports that Apple is likely to drop LCD in favor of OLED displays in all of its iPhones have circulated before, but the Wall Street Journal claims to know that it will happen in 2020. Based on information about supplier Japan Display Inc looking for a bailout from an investor group, the publication claims that the company's reliance on making LCD screens for Apple has already been hit by low iPhone XR sales. It's also not expected to improve because of Apple's reported plans to move entirely to OLED.

In the most recent figures available, Japan Display earned over half of its revenue in the year leading up to March 2018 from Apple.

"But in the latest lineup of iPhones, only the XR uses liquid-crystal displays, the type in which Japan Display specializes, and that model has fallen far short of Apple's expectations," writes Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal. "Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup in favor of organic light-emitting diode [OLED] displays that allow for more flexible handset design, people familiar with the production plans have said."

At present, it doesn't appear that the publication has new data on the matter, but rather is repeating previous predictions about the expected refresh. The conclusion that Japan Display is in financial trouble just now because of the iPhone XR also seems imprecise, as the company has been propped up by the Japanese government for at least the last five years.

Frame from a 2018 official presentation by Japan Display Inc
Frame from a 2018 official presentation by Japan Display Inc


Japan Display also makes low-temperature polysilicon sheets which the Wall Street Journal reports makes "displays more energy-efficient and faster in refreshing" and is used by Apple for part of the OLED screen construction process for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

However, without being used to produce the main screens Japan Display is struggling. Its bailout plan involves talks with Taiwan's TPK Holdings Co. and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund. If it happens, the Wall Street Journal says the investment would be around $550 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Unless Apple is trying to paint itself into a high-end niche corner, limiting itself to only OLED phones is very misguided.

    Even though I find it difficult to tell the difference between an LCD and OLED display, the XsMax costs $350 (almost 50%) more than the Xr.   Yes, the XsMax has a better camera and LTE antennas, but the bulk of that cost difference goes to its OLED screen.

    I am sure that I am not alone saying I simply don't want to pay that extra $350 for such little benefit -- since it is mostly about bragging rights.

    Are these analysts thinking that the Xr did not meet sales expectations because it has an LCD display?   I would say not.   Rather, it was the result of various marketing factors (such as Apple's battery replacement program) as well as the fact that the Xr is just too darn big for many people.

    Apple is successful because it knows how to meet people's needs.   It won't do that by simply going for the high price tag.
    racerhomie3MplsPnetmagemuthuk_vanalingamcornchipDead_Pool
  • Reply 2 of 12
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,959member
    Means no new LCD iPhone XR in 2020. It's possible that Apple would upgrade XR in alternative year.This also means, OLED price will come down for Apple to offer OLED across all iPhones but keep the same price range as now. And don't forget microLED and iPhone 8/Plus will be sold by Apple for another 2 years.
    netmageDead_Pool
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Sounds more like FUD than anything else. It doesn't really make sense that Apple would have so much marketing focus on Liquid Retina in 2018 and then plan to drop it entirely in 2020. Cook's comments on the popularity of the XR don't line up with this either.
    GeorgeBMacnetmagecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 12
    More fake news?
    Dead_Pool
  • Reply 5 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,493member
    More fake news?
    No, not every report that you disagree with is "FakeNews" -- which means intentionally spreading false information to serve an agenda.  The WSJ doesn't do that.  Neither does any of the other MSM.   In the case of this article:  it is clearly speculative based on reports from a single supplier -- or possibly reporting the speculation of some analyst.   Neither qualifies it for a charge of maliciously spreading false information to serve an agenda,  
    MplsPmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,370member
    More fake news?
    No, not every report that you disagree with is "FakeNews" -- which means intentionally spreading false information to serve an agenda.  The WSJ doesn't do that.  Neither does any of the other MSM.   In the case of this article:  it is clearly speculative based on reports from a single supplier -- or possibly reporting the speculation of some analyst.   Neither qualifies it for a charge of maliciously spreading false information to serve an agenda,  
    “Fake news” has become the new label people use to try and discredit anything they don’t like or disagree with. Kind of like how “activist judge” was used anytime there was a ruling people didn’t like. Sometimes the news is bad [for you.] That doesn’t make it fake.
    designrgatorguymuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacDead_Pool
  • Reply 7 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,370member

    Unless Apple is trying to paint itself into a high-end niche corner, limiting itself to only OLED phones is very misguided.

    Even though I find it difficult to tell the difference between an LCD and OLED display, the XsMax costs $350 (almost 50%) more than the Xr.   Yes, the XsMax has a better camera and LTE antennas, but the bulk of that cost difference goes to its OLED screen.

    I am sure that I am not alone saying I simply don't want to pay that extra $350 for such little benefit -- since it is mostly about bragging rights.

    Are these analysts thinking that the Xr did not meet sales expectations because it has an LCD display?   I would say not.   Rather, it was the result of various marketing factors (such as Apple's battery replacement program) as well as the fact that the Xr is just too darn big for many people.

    Apple is successful because it knows how to meet people's needs.   It won't do that by simply going for the high price tag.
    Totally agree. Everyone beat on the XR because it had a ‘poorer quality’ LCD screen, but I looked at them side by side at a display and I couldn’t see the difference. The only time you can really tell a difference is in a totally dark room where you can see the LCD screen is a very dark grey rather than true black. In normal lighting it’s not an issue. Ditto the resolution.

    I think the rapid sales of the SE this week showed that there is a real market for a lower-cost quality phone. There are a lot of people who would be totally fine with an LCD screen if it means saving a few $$$. Of course, it may be that Apple’s cost differential between the OLED and high quality LCD was small enough not to matter, but I’d find that difficult to believe.

    Edit - something else I just thought of  - could this be because sales predictions have dropped for either Apple or the entire industry and the OLED suppliers are now able to supply enough displays and/or have had to drop their prices?
    edited January 22 muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 12
    designrdesignr Posts: 503member
    Sounds more like FUD than anything else. It doesn't really make sense that Apple would have so much marketing focus on Liquid Retina in 2018 and then plan to drop it entirely in 2020. Cook's comments on the popularity of the XR don't line up with this either.
    Agreed.

    I think Apple is actually hedging a bit against OLED prices not dropping as much or as fast as they need. So they pushed the engineers on the LCD bezels and perhaps even got some commitments for further bezel reduction in the future to enable the edge-to-edge screen designs. Granted that OLED offers other benefits (e.g., truer blacks and better power consumption)...but those are perhaps not as big an advantage as previously thought. And Apple needs to deal in the reality of consumer price ceilings.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    MplsP said:

    Unless Apple is trying to paint itself into a high-end niche corner, limiting itself to only OLED phones is very misguided.

    Even though I find it difficult to tell the difference between an LCD and OLED display, the XsMax costs $350 (almost 50%) more than the Xr.   Yes, the XsMax has a better camera and LTE antennas, but the bulk of that cost difference goes to its OLED screen.

    I am sure that I am not alone saying I simply don't want to pay that extra $350 for such little benefit -- since it is mostly about bragging rights.

    Are these analysts thinking that the Xr did not meet sales expectations because it has an LCD display?   I would say not.   Rather, it was the result of various marketing factors (such as Apple's battery replacement program) as well as the fact that the Xr is just too darn big for many people.

    Apple is successful because it knows how to meet people's needs.   It won't do that by simply going for the high price tag.
    Totally agree. Everyone beat on the XR because it had a ‘poorer quality’ LCD screen, but I looked at them side by side at a display and I couldn’t see the difference. The only time you can really tell a difference is in a totally dark room where you can see the LCD screen is a very dark grey rather than true black. In normal lighting it’s not an issue. Ditto the resolution.

    I think the rapid sales of the SE this week showed that there is a real market for a lower-cost quality phone. There are a lot of people who would be totally fine with an LCD screen if it means saving a few $$$. Of course, it may be that Apple’s cost differential between the OLED and high quality LCD was small enough not to matter, but I’d find that difficult to believe.

    Edit - something else I just thought of  - could this be because sales predictions have dropped for either Apple or the entire industry and the OLED suppliers are now able to supply enough displays and/or have had to drop their prices?
    It's possible contractual requirements might also influence the decision. Remember that Samsung invested several billions in an additional OLED factory meant to provide screens to Apple. It's not likely Samsung would do so without getting written minimum purchase guarantees from them. That would be really unusual not to do for a major investment in plant.
    edited January 22 designrmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,493member
    MplsP said:
    More fake news?
    No, not every report that you disagree with is "FakeNews" -- which means intentionally spreading false information to serve an agenda.  The WSJ doesn't do that.  Neither does any of the other MSM.   In the case of this article:  it is clearly speculative based on reports from a single supplier -- or possibly reporting the speculation of some analyst.   Neither qualifies it for a charge of maliciously spreading false information to serve an agenda,  
    “Fake news” has become the new label people use to try and discredit anything they don’t like or disagree with. Kind of like how “activist judge” was used anytime there was a ruling people didn’t like. Sometimes the news is bad [for you.] That doesn’t make it fake.
    Yes.  True.   It's also being used to distract from the real FakeNews:  If everything is FakeNews, then nothing is -- because then the term has no meaning.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,313member
    GeorgeBMac said:

    Neither does any of the other MSM.    

    🤨

    designrDuhSesame
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Even though I find it difficult to tell the difference between an LCD and OLED display, the XsMax costs $350 (almost 50%) more than the Xr.   Yes, the XsMax has a better camera and LTE antennas, but the bulk of that cost difference goes to its OLED screen.
    Samsung's $230 phones have OLED displays. They are as cheap as chips now.

    BTW what happened to the Appleinsider logo on the Forums?
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