Analysts Skeptical Whether Apple Can Roll Out All-OLED iPhone Lineup by 2019

Analysts are casting doubt on yesterday’s report that claimed Apple plans to use next-generation OLED screens for all of its 2019 iPhones.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, a group of tech analysts find it doubtful that Apple would be able to roll out an all-OLED iPhone lineup by next year due to a number of reasons.

JPMorgan analyst Jay Kwon says an all-OLED screen rollout for 2019 would be too early a decision for Apple, as the OLED screens will make the devices pricier, defeating the purpose of a cheaper LCD iPhone expected later this year. Kwon also argued that Apple likely needs more time to find additional OLED suppliers besides its current sole supplier in Samsung Display.

“It is unlikely that Apple will be releasing three OLED models next year,” said Jeff Pu, an analyst at Taipei-based Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting. Besides Samsung Display, LG Display is the other major OLED supplier, and it has struggled to move into mass production. LG is unlikely to boost production to the numbers needed for Apple to shift to an all-OLED lineup, preventing the Cupertino company from diversifying its suppliers.

Analysts from Goldman Sachs believe that recent financial guidance from suppliers like Japan Display point to Apple’s continued used of LCD through the end of next year. Analysts Daiki Takayama and Jie Dai believed that “share prices have overreacted” to the news, because they “think it is unlikely that all 2019 iPhone models will switch to OLED screens.”

“Ultimately, the plan is for Apple to go full OLED on its iPhones as far as I know but whether that’s going to happen at this point is a question mark,” said Jerry Kang, a senior principal analyst at IHS Markit based in Bundang, South Korea. “Apple hasn’t been able to expand on its iPhone X production because of market demand and price issues.”

Apple is currently expected to employ OLED tech in two of its three models to be shipped later this year, with a second-generation iPhone X and a larger “iPhone X Plus.” The lowest-cost option is said to be a new 6.1-inch model with a similar full-face display as seen on the iPhone X, and will reportedly feature an LCD display.

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