Apple Delays Full OLED iPhone Lineup Until 2020: WSJ

While the OLED display is one of the best features of the iPhone X, a new report suggests that LCD displays on iPhones will be sticking around for at least another year.

Apple is rumored to be working on two iPhones featuring organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays for its new 2018 lineup, expected in September, and just one with a traditional liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the LCD version will cost less and see the highest sales of the three.

“Industry executives with direct knowledge of production plans said Apple initially wanted roughly equal production of the two screen types,” WSJ reports. “Now, they say, Apple plans to make more of the LCD model, anticipating that consumers would lean toward the cheaper model.”

This is a decision that’s mostly based on the existing supplier portfolio, as Samsung is currently the only company building OLED panels that can meet Apple’s requirements and very likely to remain so in the near future.

While Apple is actively involved in a partnership with LG that would have the South Korean firm build OLEDs as well, this project is advancing slowly, and the firm has no other option than to stick with LCD for at least one more year, the report adds.

As such, an all-OLED iPhone lineup would lead to higher prices for the entire lineup, a strategy that Apple itself cannot afford right now. The LCD version projected to launch this year is expected to be the most affordable in the entire generation, as Apple specifically wants a low-cost alternative to its premium iPhones.

While Apple may delay its OLED shift for 2020, when it will be able to secure more suppliers for such panels at cheaper price points, analysts expect LCD models to make up the majority of iPhone sales at least for the next two years.

This bodes well for those who can’t splurge the $799+ USD that Apple will likely be charging for the OLED models, while people involved in Apple’s supply chain now reconfirm that all 2018 models, including the LCD one, will sport the iPhone X “notch” design “to give consumers who own older devices the feeling of an upgrade.”