Apple to Ditch LCD Displays in Favour of Fully-OLED iPhone Lineup in 2020: WSJ

Apple’s 2019 iPhone generation is likely to include the last iPhone model that comes with an LCD display.

Apple is likely to drop LCD displays from its 2020 iPhone lineup entirely, a new report from the Wall Street Journal claims, citing unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s production plans.

More than half of the revenue in the year ended March 2018 of Japan Display, Apple’s primary supplier for LCD displays, came from Apple. But lately, only the iPhone XR uses liquid-crystal displays, and that model has fallen far short of Apple’s expectations.

The shift to OLED will enable “more flexible handset design”, claims the report, and it true, means this year’s iPhone XR successor will be Apple’s final LCD smartphone, which isn’t surprising given the recent claims that the firm has been struggling to sell its “budget” iPhone.

“Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup in favor of organic light-emitting diode displays that allow for more flexible handset design,” reads the report.

While this possibility has certainly been discussed before, today’s report gives the rumour a bit more credibility as it claims that Japan Display is currently in the process of seeking investor help that will help it financially in the coming year as the switch to OLED-only iPhones takes place.

According to the report, “Japan Display Inc. is in advanced talks with Taiwan’s TPK Holdings Co. and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund about an investment that would include a stake of about 30% with the possibility of greater control later, people familiar with the matter said.”

Apple’s suppliers are expected to be hit by this decision to give up on LCD entirely, but on the other hand, the Cupertino company is already working with partners on preparing for the manufacturing of more OLED panels. One supplier that will benefit from the complete switch to OLED could be Samsung, which is already producing the panels used on the iPhone XS and XS Max.