Electronics

Apple developing 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with metal back case

Apple developing 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with metal back case

The Korean company is the sole supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X. Apple will maintain a lineup of LCD iPhones until it has another supplier of OLED screens.

According to Nomura, the LCD iPhone arriving in 2018 will sport the same edge-to-edge design like the iPhone X. It will be featuring only a single camera on its rear panel. One will be the next-gen 5.8-inch iPhone X and another will be a Plus variant with a giant 6.5-inch OLED panel. According to Nikkei, the metallic iPhone will come in several colours, but nothing more than what the current aluminium iPhones offer. Casetek now supplies Apple with LCD screens for its iPads, so it could also be tapped by Apple to supply the new iPhone model with LCD panels.

But the cheaper iPhone with a metal back not only brings happiness for select consumers, it also brings business to LCD display manufacturers Sharp and Japan Display, which stand to lose the most with Apple's decision to finally move to OLED displays in iPhones. Pegatron assembles the iPhone 8 for Apple.

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Nikkei's report corroborates with predictions from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "We think the specs of 6.5" OLED and 5.8" OLED new iPhones are mostly the same as those on iPhone X (5.8" OLED), except for the screen size and the support of dual physical SIM cards of the 6.5" iPhone". Kuo, however, stated that all three 2018 models would debut with full-screen, edge-to-edge displays and the TrueDepth camera system that's now featured on the 10th anniversary iPhone. However, there is some difference between in details that the Nikkei sources claim and what Kuo has claimed. This of course explains why the device is rumored to be a low-cost entry built for low-end and midrange markets. The LCD iPhone, in contrast, will sell at a lower price point ($650-$750) and have a lower pixel density (320-330ppi).

Opting to not use OLED displays for all of its iPhones next year makes sense for Apple and will ensure the company is not completely dependant on rival Samsung Electronics Co.