At the moment there aren’t too many companies in the world that can mass produce OLED panels in the quantity and yield that Apple demands. Samsung is one of those companies and if a report from The Wall Street Journal (via 9to5Mac) is to be believed, Apple is expected to continue to source from them.
Given Apple and Samsung’s tenuous relationship, it did not come as a surprise to hear the rumors last year that Apple was investing in other companies such as LG to get their OLED production up and running so as to reduce reliance on Samsung. In fact earlier this year it was rumored that 2018 iPhones could use LG’s OLED panels. However the latest report is claiming that LG is struggling to hit production targets, which means that Apple will probably need to keep using Samsung as their main supplier.
Unfortunately what this means is that rumors of 2018’s iPhones potentially being priced higher than $1,000 could come true. This is because it has been estimated that Samsung charges $97 per display, and given that Apple doesn’t really have anyone else to rely on for the quantity and yield that they need, they’re forced to pay Samsung’s prices which in turn drives up the cost of the iPhone.
That being said, a recent report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple could launch a cheaper LCD iPhone priced as low as $550, so if you’re not too fussed about OLED screens, that could be an option.