Apple’s 3D Touch components on the OLED-equipped iPhone 8 are reportedly 150 percent more expensive than its LCD counterpart. This news arrives amid speculations that Apple’s iPhone 8 might cost $1,000 USD when it launches this fall.
According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple has accepted a quote from TPK Holdings to manufacturer the 3D Touch solution for its upcoming OLED iPhone. The quote is allegedly $18-22 USD, 150% higher than the cost of manufacturing the 3D Touch solution for current generation devices.
Implementing the technology in an OLED screen requires a different manufacturing process. It is believed that the 3D Touch sensors are embedded between two glass panels that sandwich the screen and the sensor film. On a conventional TFT screen, the sensors are bonded directly to the display panel, not requiring embedding in a glass sandwich.
“Due to the additional bonding of glass covers, overall processing cost for OLED-based 3D Touch solution is about 50% higher than that for the LCD-based one but the quotes for the client is about 150% higher,” reads the report. “Therefore, TPK and GIS are expected to significantly benefit from Apple’s orders for OLED-based 3D Touch solution.”
As implemented in the iPhone 7 and earlier, 3D Touch employs an array of capacitive sensors integrated with an iPhone display’s backlight. The system measures the distance between iPhone’s flexible cover glass and the sensor array many times per second, then translates the results into force data, with location data being passed by the regular touch sensing technology.
The most expensive iPhone in Apple’s current lineup is the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus which sells for $969 USD ($1309 CAD). With that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine Apple slapping a price tag on the iPhone 8 that’s beyond $1,000. After all, the upcoming phone is rumoured to become Apple’s “premium” device.