DigiTimes Research: Apple will order up to 270 million smartphone display panels this year

Apple is expected to procure a total of 250-270 million flat panels for the production of iPhones this year, according to DigiTimes Research, quoting unnamed “sources from Taiwan's panel industry.”

Apple's purchases of OLED panels in 2018 will reportedly reach 110-130 million units, including 70-80 million 5.9-inch units for the current iPhone X and an upgraded version of the same size. The remaining will be 40-50 million 6.5-inch OLED panels for the production of a less expensive model, according to DigiTimes.

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The report adds that Apple will also take up a total of 60-70 million 6.1-inch all-screen LTPS panels for another new iPhone to be released this fall, as well as 60-70 million LTPS panels in 4-, 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes for the production of iPhone 8s, iPhone SEs and iPhone 7. Though DigiTimes Research has a hit and miss record when it comes to its Apple-related forecasts, this report lines up with another prediction. Well, sort of.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is sticking with his previous prediction that the 2018 iPhones will ship in 5.8- and 6.5-inch sizes in OLED, with a lower-priced ($700-$800) 6.1-inch device coming, as well. He believes the latter will have a single rear camera, and an aluminum frame rather than stainless steel. Kuo Kuo says the lower priced smartphone will lack 3D touch, and have 3GB of RAM, as compared to 4GB in the OLED models.

Kuo forecasts that Apple will ship between 80 and 90 million phones after they launch. Of those, he anticipates about 50% to be the 6.1-inch LED model.