Apple will likely stick with LCD panels until 2018 and beyond, according to well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. This contradicts earlier rumours hinting that Apple would indeed adopt AMOLED displays the iPhone (via MacRumors).
Earlier this month ET News reported that Apple would likely switch to AMOLED displays for the next-generation iPhone. That won’t happen anytime soon, says Kuo, who points to Apple’s biggest assembly partner, Foxconn, which recently struck a deal with the Chinese government and will build a sixth-generation, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) factory in Zhengzhou, China.
The factory is slated to trial production in November 2017, and mass production in 2018. This is Hon Hai’s third LTPS production line after Shenzen and Kahsiung, the company says.
Keeping in mind the above and iPhone backlight supplier Minebea’s recent comments, Kuo believes Apple will continue to use LCD panels with the iPhone until 2018 and beyond.
Minebea, major BLU supplier of iPhone, stated to investors on November 5 that it does not foresee risk of TFT-LCD share loss to AMOLED in high-end smartphone market in next three years & guides growth in TFT-LCD going forward. As Apple and Samsung are the only two brands that currently offer premium smartphones, we think Minebea’s statements imply it does not expect iPhone to adopt AMOLED in the coming three years, given that Samsung’s models are already being equipped with it.
Ming-Chi Kuo has a strong track record when predicting Apple’s future plans: he correctly predicted that Apple would release a pressure-sensitive stylus alongside the iPad Pro, and that the Apple Watch lineup would be refreshed with new colours this fall.