So far, we have heard rumors pointing towards Apple releasing three new iPhone variants: two of them featuring an OLED display and a third cheaper model with a 6.1-inch LCD display. However, a new DigiTimes report claims that Apple is working on four new iPhone models for 2018.
Out of these four models, two of them sport LCD displays measuring 5.7/5.8-inch and 6/6.1-inch, respectively. The other two models feature OLED displays measuring 6/6.1-inch and 6.4/6.5-inches. However, Apple will only end up launching three models this year, out of which two will sport LCD displays and one will make use of a 6.5-inch OLED display.
This strategy will be similar to what Apple employed with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X this year. The report states that while Apple originally wanted to release two new iPhones this year with OLED displays, it has recently started leaning towards LCD panels. The shift in Apple’s strategy is not clear at this point and the company’s decision is also not final so it can change anytime.
Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple will launch three new iPhones this year, with two of them featuring OLED panels. One of them will be the iPhone X Plus with a 6.5-inch OLED panel, while the other model will be the successor to the original iPhone X. The third new model will be a lower priced iPhone variant featuring a 6.1-inch LCD display.
All four models being tested by Apple feature wireless charging and 3D sensing functionalities. While not mentioned in the report, it is also clear that irrespective of which display tech Apple ends up going for in its 2018 iPhone lineup, they will also feature a notch display design.
It is likely that Apple is looking at launching two new iPhones with LCD displays this year due to the shortage of OLED panels. While Samsung supplied Apple with OLED panels for the iPhone X, it does not have the resources to fulfill Apple’s demand for OLED panels for two new iPhones. And even if it does, Apple does not like to rely on one supplier for such a key component of its product. While Apple is looking at LG Display, JDI and other display makers to supply it with OLED panels, these companies are still in the process of setting up their OLED production lines and their OLED panel quality is nowhere near that of Samsung.