Korean sources see 150 million LCD iPhones produced this year
It’s been a hectic week for adjusters as they continue to gauge what Apple will do later on this year. The near-consensus is that the company will have three premium iPhones coming out in September with one featuring an LCD panel and the others having more premium OLED displays. But just how many of each may get produced to meet forecast demand is still up in the air.
According to ETnews, Korean industry sources now believe that there would only be up to 55 million units produced between the two OLED models while the new LCD model could get as many as 150 million units. This forecast would favor display suppliers Japan Display and Sharp at the expense of Samsung Display. LG Display, a legacy LCD producer that is currently expediting a transition to OLED assembly, is expected to also take a net negative impact.
Earlier this week, Digitimes had relayed from its sources that Apple would procure up to 130 million OLED displays and up to 70 million LCDs for the 2018 iPhone trio.
The new estimates heavily rely on the background of how poorly the iPhone X has sold. Since the start of the year, Apple is reported to have cut its shipping targets twice from over 100 million moves to 90 million and then to 75 million — the company reported holiday season iPhone unit sales below market expectations, further indicating that the iPhone X lack of consumer draw.
This frame of analysis is further complicated by research indicating that the smaller-size OLED model will cost less to assemble than the LCD model. There was also a less popular view from January that only one OLED and two LCD variants would be coming in September.