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What you need to know

  • A report from South Korea suggests that Apple will release a 5.4, 6.1 and 6.7-inch iPhone in 2020.
  • LG and Samsung are to be the sole suppliers of the OLED panels.
  • Some of the displays are said to be on-cell touch, meaning they are thinner and have reduced costs.

A report from South Korea suggests that Samsung and LG will be sole suppliers of OLED displays for Apple's new 2020 iPhones, which will reportedly come in 5.4, 6.1 and 6.7-inch models.

According to the report from etnews via MacRumors

According to the industry, 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch new iPhone models that will be released in the fall of 2020 are expected to be applied with three different sizes of OLED panels. Although there are three types of displays, it is likely that the number of entire iPhone models will be more than four as Apple is also planning to release a model that will support 5G network.

The reference to more than four devices seems a little suspect here, however, the report notes that Samsung will be the sole supplier of the OLED panels for the 5.4 and 6.7-inch models, with LG supplying the 6.1-inch screen. According to the report, those Samsung displays will feature on-cell touch technology, known as Y-OCTA. This is an OLED panel that has a touch sensor held within the display, rather than as a separate film. This makes the display thinner and cheaper to produce. The report notes that Samsung is the only company that can mass-produce the panel in the numbers Apple requires, so Samsung will be the sole supplier of the 5.4 and 6.7-inch displays.

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According to an industry representative, Apple was wooed to Y-OCTA technology by Samsung, who actively promoted the tech to Apple. The report also states that Samsung Display suggested "shocking terms" in order to secure an order from Apple.

The 6.1-inch display will be provided by both LG and Samsung, and those display will reportedly not feature the on-cell touch technology but will be based on film touch instead. Production will probably be split between the two fifty-fifty, as third contender BOE seems out of the picture due to slow progress in development and production yield.

The most recent rumor surrounding the 2020 iPhones suggested that they would feature 6GB of RAM, alongside reports of an iPhone SE 2 entering production in February 2020. It is also reported that Apple's next-generation iPhones will all feature Qualcomm's X55 5G Modem.

The report notes that LG's small to midsize OLED panels are seen as a "weakness" of LG Display, meaning that its securing of the production (in-part) of the 6.1-inch displays is a great boost for the company. It further states that if it can raise productivity in unit cost and production yield, it may yet secure more orders from Apple in 2020.

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