New iPhones with OLED screens may not be cheaper than $1,000

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The iPhone X offers a lot of value for $  1,000, but it's still too expensive for many people.
The iPhone X offers a lot of value for $ 1,000, but it’s still too expensive for many people.
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

We all want the iPhone X to be cheaper, but that might not happen anytime soon because of LG.

According to the Wall Street Journal, LG Display is reportedly struggling to produce OLED displays for Apple to use in future iPhones. Dividing OLED screens between Samsung, which is currently the only supplier, and LG Display could have meant lower prices for consumers.

Per the report, LG has apparently failed to meet production schedules in order to begin mass production of OLED displays for new iPhones.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t get into the specifics challenges LG has run into. However, it may not be difficult to figure out the issue. 

Compared to Samsung’s OLED displays, LG Display’s OLED panels have largely been blasted for being inferior, and it has yet to make ones that meet Apple’s high standards. Apple has reportedly requested LG Display go through a rigorous third round of OLED display prototyping, a round that other suppliers aren’t subject to.

When the Pixel 2 XL launched, many customers complained about the LG-made screen’s inconsistent color temperatures and burn-in. These are the kind of problems Apple wouldn’t accept.

LG’s manufacturing woes could hurt customers the most.

Though yield rates aren’t as high as Apple had hoped for, LG Display is still expected to produce up to 20 percent of OLED displays for upcoming iPhones while Samsung produces the rest.

LG’s manufacturing woes could hurt customers the most, though. Without any serious competition, Samsung can dictate whatever pricing it wants for for its OLED displays, and Apple will have no choice but to accept them. Which sucks for consumers because that means any cost-savings Apple could have passed down are unlikely to happen. 

My guess: Don’t expect any new iPhones with an OLED screen to cost less than $ 1,000 this year. Maybe in 2019, but not this year.

On the bright side, LG Display’s failures means Apple’s keeping its quality bar in check. If an OLED screen isn’t up to snuff, they’re not going to include it in iPhones. And that means consumers won’t have to deal with the same problems Pixel 2 XL owners have faced. If you’re paying top dollar for a flawless display, you’re gonna get the best there is.

It’s unclear which of this year’s new iPhones will come with LG Display’s OLED screens. It’s rumored Apple will launch three new iPhones: a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD screen, a 5.8-inch iPhone X successor with an OLED display, and a 6.5-inch iPhone X “Plus” also with an OLED screen.

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