Everyone is busy discussing the 2018 iPhones, but the rumor mills also have some time to spare for the 2019 iPhones. Word on the street is that Apple is going to continue with its two-track OLED/LCD strategy for at least a year more.
To recall, initial reports had claimed that Apple was going all-OLED next year with each of its 3 new handsets. This was apparently the plan, but the company has seemingly changed its mind. According to The Bell, the company’s struck a deal with LG Display for it to work on LCD panels for at least one 2019 iPhone.
Why Apple Is Sticking With LCD
LG is also reportedly producing OLED panels for the 2018 series of iPhones, but in limited quantities. As for why Apple is not going all-OLED, the iPhone X is to blame. The handset was supposed to be the rockstar of 2017, but it suffered through slower-than-expected sales.
In fact, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus both beat the iPhone X in North America, taking up 37% of total sales and ranking first and second in the market. The $300 difference between the iPhone 8 ($699) and iPhone X ($999) probably played a big part in why consumers decided to go with the former.
The problem with OLED is that it’s very expensive. Samsung reportedly charges $100 for an OLED panel. That’s much higher than the $40 an LCD screen typically costs. This dynamic probably isn’t going to change soon since the South Korean brand still has a monopoly on OLED displays, even if LG is making inroads.
Until OLED panels start getting cheaper or Apple just starts making them itself, there’s likely going to be an LCD iPhone within the handset lineup for the foreseeable future. This year’s model may start somewhere between $600 and $700 and adopt the same design as the iPhone X.