Apple will soon start receiving a portion of its OLED phone screens from South Korean maker LG Display, thereby loosening its dependence on its direct rival Samsung, who has supplied the firm to date, and freeing the way for a price drop in new iPhones.
The news, which was reported first by Bloomberg, reveals that LG Display will initially supply between two to four million OLED screens to Apple, and these screens will be used in one new iPhone model in 2018, reportedly the much-rumoured 6.5-inch edition, before then being adopted in even greater number in 2019.
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The importance of the second supplier is potentially massive for Apple, as by having LG Display's expertise to call on in the production of OLED screens, and potentially ramp up massively if it sees fit, it would put the company in a great position to strike cheaper deals with Samsung for the tech and reduce the overall cost of each new iPhone, which it could then pass on to iPhone users.
Speaking about the LG Display deal, Jerry Kang, a senior principal analyst at IHS Markit covering the smartphone tech industry, said it "will help accelerate a broad adoption of OLED screens", before concluding that "more suppliers means more volume, and in turn, lower pricing.”
Now, regular readers of T3 will recall that we called that this year's iPhone range would see at least one model with a price reduction and potentially more, with even the new iPhone X tipped to retail for $100 less than last year's edition. And, looking at this new deal, it seems like this could be a primary factor in that price reduction or, if not this year's models, 2019 iPhones.
And considering reports that the 2017 iPhone X did not sell as well as expected, with its undoubtedly high price theorised to be the main cause, new iPhones with cheaper prices would no doubt help return sales to a higher position.
Naturally, we'll have to wait until Apple's upcoming iPhone event until we get official confirmation, but here's hoping.
Until then, for a complete overview of every new iPhone model that has been rumoured so far that could benefit from a price drop, be sure to check out our 2018 iPhone range guide.