With most reports now agreeing that Apple will switch to OLED displays in iPhones in either 2017 or 2018 (but no consensus yet on which of the two years), UBI Research has now added fuel to the idea that not all models will benefit from the new screen technology.
The Korea Herald reports the firm’s president and chief analyst suggesting numbers that indicate a gradual rollout across models.
Lee Choong-hoon predicted an OLED iPhone with a curved screen would debut in 2018, saying OLED models would make up 30 percent or 100 million units of total iPhone shipments in the year and the figure could surge to 80 percent by 2020.
While the 30% figure could be explained by Apple launching its new iPhones late in the year, the ‘80% by 2020’ number would mean Apple continuing to manufacture some new models with the older IPS LCD screen tech for some time to come …
One possibility is that only the Plus models would get the OLED screen. It was notable that a recent Samsung report referred only to 5.5-inch display panels, with no mention of smaller ones.
There have been a number of indications that Apple may be planning increasing divergence between the smaller and larger iPhone models. In the iPhone 6/6s, the only difference in features between the two is the optical image stabilization, but KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the iPhone 7 Plus will benefit from a dual-camera setup while the standard iPhone 7 won’t.
UBI backs earlier reports that Samsung is likely to be the primary supplier of the display panels, with LG, Japan Display and Foxconn-owned Sharp as secondary suppliers. A recent supply-chain report suggested that Sharp was preparing to create three separate production-lines to manufacture OLED panels.