WSJ: Apple ‘likely’ to drop LCD displays in 2020

From “Apple Supplier in Japan Looks to Taiwan for Bailout After iPhone XR Letdown,” posted early Tuesday for Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal ($).

More than half of Japan Display’s revenue in the year ended March 2018 came from Apple. But in the latest lineup of iPhones, only the XR uses liquid-crystal displays, the type in which Japan Display specializes, and that model has fallen far short of Apple’s expectations.

Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup in favor of organic light-emitting diode displays that allow for more flexible handset design, people familiar with the production plans have said.

My take: Just a rumor, but as OLED costs come down it makes good sense.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup

    That’s a no brained. As I’ve said in the past, historically as new iPhones are introduced previous models are pushed down in the lineup until they disappear. Generally this takes 4 model years (including launch year) to accomplish with FY2018 being the beginning of the end for LCD. That projects out to FY2021. Could Apple drop LCD based models a year earlier, certainly, it all depends on sales volume.

    January 22, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Apple can use OLED models to stimulate upgrades of its mid-tier and eventually low-end installed base.

      That will happen naturally without producing an intentionally low cost OLED iPhone as new, flag ship OLED iPhones are introduced, and previous years’ models move down the offerings list and price tiers.

      This story is about Japan Display, a long struggling enterprise that has failed miserably in updating its products. Samsung ate JD’s lunch with aggressive pricing and R&D spending.

      There is nothing to be discerned from this story other than the market changed and Japan Display did not.

      Pricing for OLED displays will remain high until there is a credible alternative to Samsung. The best potential alternative to Samsung is LG, but LG is still a couple years away from being a viable alternative.

      Chinese alternatives (backed by the Chinese government) are gaining technical creds but have to overcome an anti-Chinese bias among western producers because of their relationship with the Chinese government.

      January 22, 2019

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