On Wednesday, Nikkei learned from a source with knowledge on Apple's plans that the tech giant is releasing a more affordable iPhone model next year. At least one of the 2018 iPhones would have the LCD panel. The device is expected to cost less than the iPhone X successor, for it is sporting a liquid crystal display. A new report fresh from Japan is claiming that the Cupertino giant is in the process of developing a 6.1-inch handset with LCD screen.
But the cheaper iPhone with a metal back not only brings happiness for select consumers, it also brings business to LCD display manufacturers Sharp and Japan Display, which stand to lose the most with Apple's decision to finally move to OLED displays in iPhones.
OLED offers stronger color contrast and a brighter display compared with LCD. The more affordable price may mean the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be discontinued. All the three 2017 iPhones come with a glass back to support wireless charging.
Both phones have gotten a lot of publicity, as is always the case when Apple puts out a new iPhone.
Apple will launch a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, an updated iPhone X and a new, affordable LCD screen-sporting model with the same design as this year's flagship model. Comparatively, OLED panels deliver more saturated colors and truer black tones. But with each successive release, Apple slowly began to diversify its iPhone lineup on all fronts. The process would be similar to how Foxconn works with its metal frame and casing production units.
Other than Foxconn, current iPhone metal casing and frame suppliers include Catcher Technology and US -based Jabil. The report noted that while LG's goal is to enter Apple's supply chain in full force in 2019, LG may be able to begin producing some OLED displays by the second half of 2018. The phone will come alongside another OLED phone which will be the "Plus" model of the 5.8-inch iPhone.
According to KGI Securities, the 2018 LCD iPhone would "differ significantly" from the OLED models.
Kuo has also claimed that the 6.1-inch iPhone would come with a lower-resolution display. "When anything is confirmed in detail, we will announce it, or (otherwise an announcement will be made) in a month", LG Display said in its regulatory filing Wednesday afternoon.