In a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple’s in a bit of a sticky wicket as Samsung is the sole supplier of OLED screens for the upcoming “iPhone 8” (shown in fanciful mock-ups).
This puts Samsung in the catbird’s seat when it comes to bargaining with Apple. Kuo thinks the OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone (expected to be revealed on Tuesday, Sept. 12) cost Apple between $120 and $130 per unit, which is well beyond the $45 to $55 per unit Apple is said to pay for the iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch LCD screen.
The analyst says that Apple is in “urgent need” of finding a second source of OLED. Any diversity in the supply chain will take time, however, as competing display makers need to not only ramp up OLED output, but also master manufacturing of the next-generation display technology to meet Apple's quality control standards, the article adds.
OLED technology is used in many high-end smartphones. Supporters of the technology praise its high contrast/deep blacks and potential thickness and power consumption advantages.