Gabelli: Will Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ Be a Partial OLED iPhone?

Following a discussion yesterday with Darice Liu, the head of IR at organic light-emitting display (OLED) technology maker Universal Display, Gabelli & Co.’s Hendi Susanto has today issued an investors note, with speculations of Apple using OLED technology in a forthcoming ‘iPhone 8′. According to Barron’s, Susanto’s note implies that whenever OLED arrives in an iPhone, it could be a kind of partial approach by Apple, before moving to more extensive use in iOS devices.


Current market penetration of OLED in smartphones is still very low, and is well below 300 million units out of 1.3 billion of annual smartphone shipment units. South Korean tech giant Samsung has recently claimed that the pricing of an OLED display pricing is now lower than that of an LTPS LCD display, which is notable considering that OLED display production scale is minute compared to the global production scale of high-end LTPS LCD displays.

“Speculation regarding the potential adoption of OLED displays by Apple continues to dominate major discussions with investors. The current speculation anticipates Apple’s adoption of OLED displays in its iPhone in 2017 or 2018. We believe that Apple can adopt OLED displays sooner rather than later by pursuing a partial adoption and incorporating it in a specialized edition of a new iPhone version.

This will alleviate the needs of huge supply capacity and accelerate OLED display adoption. Alternatively, Apple could choose to wait and finally adopt OLED displays for all new iPhone versions. We remain cautiously opportunistic. We believe it’s a matter of when, not if”.

Samsung has also indicated that demand of OLED displays in the second quarter of 2016 exceeded its production capacity. 

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