Not that it comes as a huge surprise, but even the lowly 5.4″ iPhone 12 and 6.1″ 12 Max models with the scrappy screen resolution will apparently come with OLED displays, reports Nikkei today.
Previously, it was not exactly clear whether one of those will or won’t keep the mobile LCD display industry alive but it’s not confirmed by industry sources that 2020 will see the complete Apple transition to OLED displays, and it won’t be looking back.
“The four new iPhones will all be equipped with the flexible OLED displays. However, there will still be a notch, or “fringe,” on the top of the iPhone, because Apple was unable to integrate the Face ID module into the display,” tipped one industry insider for Nikkei.
By now, there is little doubt that 2020 will be the first year when Apple will release an iPhone 12 quartet where all handsets will be using OLED display technology. It took the company 9 years to switch to OLED after the first Galaxy S was introduced by Samsung with a unique and yet-unproven 480×800 Super AMOLED screen, but it is getting there now that the technology is cheaper and ubiquitous.
LG may be the star in Apple’s complete shift to OLED screens
Unfortunately, ubiquitous still doesn’t mean that the only game in town has changed when it comes to OLED screens, and depending on one supplier means price distortions, so Apple is looking for ways out of its co-dependency with Samsung, including working on things like microLED
technology. Last year, Apple tried to move away from Samsung by probing LG and BOE but their yield wasn’t nearly enough for anything but small batches or repair parts, so Samsung again got the lion’s share of iPhone OLED supply orders.
Now, however, Apple is apparently confident that LG is finally up to the task, and Korean media has been reporting that it has ordered 20 million 6.1″ iPhone 12 Max panels from it. The 12 Max will be a direct heir of the current iPhone 11
which in turn has been the most popular phone to buy in the US since launch.
The fact that Apple is trusting LG with its 6.1″ OLED panel demonstrates a level of preparedness that LG probably didn’t have last year, and explains the heavy investments and prioritization of its small and medium size OLED panel production lines.
The other three new iPhones – the 5.4″ iPhone 12, the 6.1″ iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7″ iPhone 12 Pro Max – are said to have displays supplied by Samsung, to the tune of 55 million orders in total. Those figures show that Apple expects at least 75 million iPhones to be sold in the first quarter after the iPhone 12 release in the fall, and the largest share of those to be with LG-made displays.