Well-known Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities is now predicting that Apple will abandon in-cell touch sensing and sandwich in some sort of thin film sensor that increase the thickness and cost of the cover glass on one of the iPhone models we will see this fall.
The in-cell panel, which in part allows for 3D Touch features, will be replaced with a Cover Glass touch Sensor. With this, the glass covering the LCD on this year’s mid-range iPhone will be thicker and cost between 15 percent to 25 percent more than the previous solution — worst case could be up to $26 per unit — and may not allow for 3D Touch as-is, though the thin film sensor could be related to this formula. If things work out for this setup, premium iPhone models with OLED screens could be getting the same treatment net year.
Kuo also forecasts in his note, obtained by Feng, that the LCD model will achieve between 65 percent and 75 percent of shipments against two premium OLED models. It’s not clear how this new information squares with the analyst’s recent forecast for a $550 LCD iPhone.