iPhone X Plus Prompts Samsung to Quadruple Apple’s OLED Supply

iPhone X Plus Prompts Samsung to Quadruple Apple's OLED Supply Credit: Martin Hajek
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Apple will be receiving a lot more OLED panels from Samsung next year. A new report on Wednesday suggest that Samsung could quadruple its OLED shipments to the iPhone maker throughout 2018.

Samsung Display will reportedly supply the Cupertino tech giant with around 180 to 200 million flexible OLED panels for Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, according to industry sources cited by Korean publication The Investor. Notably, that’s about four times the amount that Samsung shipped to Apple for the iPhone X this year — which is reported to be about 50 million since the beginning of 2017.

For Samsung’s display-making subsidiary, this will translate into roughly $19.8 to $22 billion of revenue. That’s based on the per-unit supply price of $110 calculated by research firm IHS Markit. The $110 price tag includes the cost of the display’s cover glass, as well as its touch sensor.

The report also indicates that Samsung is getting more efficient with its OLED production, claiming that the display maker has achieved a 90 percent yield rate — up from 60 percent recorded earlier this year. As Samsung is currently the only company that can produce enough OLED displays that also meet Apple’s stringent quality expectations, this bodes well for both companies. It also suggests that shipping estimates for next year’s OLED iPhones could be significantly improved.

More OLED Shipments = iPhone X Plus?

Of course, while a significant portion of those OLED panels will be used in the current iPhone X and its 2018 successor, it’s also likely that the quadrupled supply order accounts for a new Apple device. Based on reports, it looks like that device could be the “iPhone X Plus” that Apple is rumored to launch alongside the second-generation iPhone X next year.

The iPhone X Plus is largely expected to sport a massive 6.4-inch OLED display, similar to the display size of Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 8. Despite its huge display, the iPhone X Plus will likely have a form factor that’s closer in physical size to the current iPhone 8 Plus, rather than the larger Note 8.The smaller footprint would, obviously, be the result of Apple applying its edge-to-edge, bezel-free design to a Plus-model form factor. That’s a move that makes perfect sense as the demand for Plus-model phones gets stronger.

The second-generation iPhone X, on the other hand, is likely to retain the 5.8-inch display size of its predecessor. Apple is also forecasted to round out next year’s lineup with a mid-range, 6.1-inch iPhone model that could sport a metal construction and an LCD display. While Apple is also rumored to be developing an iPhone SE 2 for an exclusive Indian launch early next year, it’s not known when that device will reach other markets.

It’s still a bit early to guess at the price ranges, but assuming that an iPhone X successor would retail for $999, we can guess at the price of the iPhone X Plus. Apple typically charges a $100 premium for Plus-model iPhones, which could put the iPhone X Plus’ starting price at about $1,099.

Read iPhone X Overview
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