A supply-chain report claims that Samsung will be supplying Apple with touch-integrated flexible OLED panels for 2019 iPhones. The OLED panels are called ‘Y-OCTA’ and are lighter and thinner than the panels currently used by Apple in its iPhones.
Samsung executives have been trying to woo Apple to use touch-integrated OLED panels since March this year. It was only recently that Apple entered into an agreement with Samsung to source OLED panels from it.
Samsung Display has since then entered into the necessary partnership with its vendors to develop parts required for manufacturing the touch-integrated OLED panels. Since the development has just started, this new kind of OLED panels will make their way into 2019 iPhones but only in selected models due to limited supply.
Up until now, Apple and other OEMs have used displays that make use of film-type touchscreen panels. However, the touch-integrated OLED panels do not require a separate film-type layer since the touch panel is integrated into the display panel during the production process which makes the panels thinner and lighter. The production cost is also said to be lower than existing OLED panels.
While Apple has been looking to source OLED panels from LG, it will predominantly continue to use Samsung-supplied OLED panels for 2019 iPhones. LG Display is expected to start manufacturing and supplying OLED panels for iPhone XS Max starting from this month.
While unlikely, the cheaper OLED panel might just allow Apple to replace the LCD panel in the 2019 iPhone XR with an OLED one. The move will lead to the sales of the more premium models being negatively affected if Apple does not add new features to it to distinguish it from the 2019 iPhone XR.
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