We’ve long said that pain points tend to give way to solutions and that is potentially proving out in the smartphone market that has been grappling with the transition to organic light emitting diode displays, which has popped smartphone average selling prices. Given price-demand concerns for new iPhones and other smartphone models utilizing OLED displays, we’re hearing about another innovation being developed that should reduce the cost burden as well as enable thinner and lighter models in the coming quarters. Disrupting the disruptor as it were.
For Apple, this could be a very welcome solution that jumpstarts its iPhone business either ahead of or in tandem with the debut of 5G iPhone models. The question we’re pondering is how Apple, Samsung, and others will balance ASPs for smartphones using this potentially cheaper solution vs. margins on those devices?
A supply-chain report says that Apple will be using a new form of screen technology to make at least one of its 2019 iPhone models thinner and lighter — a trend Apple has bucked with recent flagship versions.
The report says that Apple has decided to use touch-integrated flexible OLED panels, which have a different construction to current iPhone screens …
Current screens use a separate touch-sensitive layer sitting on top of the display itself. By integrating touch-sensitivity into the OLED screen, it will allow devices to be somewhat thinner and lighter.
The report claims that the technology should be ready for use next year, but says that initial supplies will be constrained, suggesting that the new screens might be used only in next year’s highest-end model. However, as the tech is expected to be cheaper than a separate touch-sensitive layer, it is likely to be rolled out into all models as capacity increases in future years.