According to insiders, Apple will launch three new iPhone models this year. All of them will have iPhone X-like designs, but just two of them will have OLED screens while the third one will feature an LCD display. Apple wants to avoid last year’s iPhone delays, and launch all three handsets at the same time in mid-September, in line with to its tried and tested iPhone release cycle. That’s why iPhone component production for the iPhone X should start as soon as May, according to a new report.
Citing sources familiar with Apple’s supply chain, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News says that Samsung will begin production of iPhone OLED panels in May, and double the initial capacity in June.
Samsung is the sole provider of OLED displays built to Apple specification for the iPhone X, and the company might enjoy the exclusive deal for at least another year. Word on the street is Apple is looking for at least one more supplier of OLED screens, with LG Display being eyed as a potential supplier.
Because iPhone X demand stalled following the holidays, Samsung was forced to reduce OLED output, according to previous reports. The EDN report notes that production was almost shut down completely for several months, and it was generally believed that Samsung would not resume production until the end of June.
If iPhone OLED display production indeed kicks off next month, then other iPhone component makers may follow suit, the report notes. The companies that assemble these parts into functional iPhones, like Foxconn, should also start production earlier than they have in the past.
The report also mentions purported prices for the upcoming 2018 iPhone X models, suggesting they’ll be cheaper than the original iPhone X. The LCD iPhone X would be the cheapest one at $799, followed by the new 5.8-inch iPhone X ($899), and the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus ($999).