The soon to be launched iPhone 8 will be the first from Apple to sport an OLED panel. While that makes for a welcome transition considering the brilliant displays that OLEDs make for, Apple unfortunately does not have the luxury of having an abundant supplier base to choose the displays from.
As things stand right now, Samsung happens to be the only supplier of the OLED panels that would go in the making of the iPhone 8, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported. That surely isn’t a situation that any manufacturer of any product anywhere in the world would ever be comfortable with. So it is least surprising, Apple is desperate to add more suppliers of OLED panels destined for iPhone 8 or other future Apple devices to reduce its dependence on Samsung.
To remedy the situation, Apple is known to have pumped in $2 billion in a LG owned manufacturing facility. That LG too has got back to using OLED on its latest flagship, the V30 is also proving to be a boon for Apple even though the V30 would be competing against the iPhone 8. LG happens to be the only other manufacturer of repute that produces OLED panels other than Samsung.
A single supplier situation is also least desirable from the pricing point of view. While Samsung produces some of the best OLED panels as is evident from the Galaxy S8 or the more recent Note 8 devices, Apple does not have the space to manoeuvre when it comes to the price of the displays.
Recent reports have claimed Samsung is charging anywhere between $120 and $130 for each of the iPhone 8’s OLED panels. That again makes for a steep increase over the around $55 that Apple spends on the 5.5-inch LCD panels of the iPhone 7 Plus. While an iPhone variant as vital as the anniversary iPhone 8 surely wouldn’t have been complete sans a display as vibrant as OLED, the extra cost that entails should be hurting prospective buyers. There already are rumors of the upcoming iPhone to cost around $1000 for even the most basic version.
Meanwhile, Google too is believed to have contracted LG to produce the OLED displays for its upcoming Pixel 2 range of handsets.