In addition to featuring a brand new design and a controversial notch, the iPhone X was also the first Apple phone to have an OLED display. Subsequent rumors have suggested that Apple will up the ante with multiple OLED phones in 2018 before fully embracing the advanced display in 2019, but a new report claims that plans have changed.
According to The Bell, industry sources say that Apple recently enlisted LG Display to develop LCD panels for one of its 2019 iPhone models. While the reports of an all-OLED lineup were apparently legitimate, relatively modest iPhone X sales forced Apple to rethink its decision to abandon the so-called “two-track” strategy, so instead it will continue to produce phones with LCD displays as well as premium devices with OLED displays.
“LG Display is currently working on developing LCD panels as well as OLEDs to be applied to 2019-type iPhones at Apple’s request,” reads a roughly-translated quote from a representative of the technology industry.
As The Bell notes, sales of the LCD-equipped iPhone 8 Plus actually topped those of the iPhone X in North America last quarter. The price difference between the two phones undoubtedly had much to do with the stagnation of iPhone X sales, prompting Apple to keep using LCD displays for at least another year. Until phones with OLED displays can be produced and sold for less than $1,000, it makes sense to keep an LCD model on the market.
Apple is expected to launch three new iPhone models this fall: a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X sequel, a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch iPhone 9 with an LCD display. Invites for the September event should go out soon.