Japanese display maker Sharp was the first to demonstrate curved-cut corners on an LCD screen and has made the most out of the technology in terms of brightness and contrast. However, it seems that Apple is struggling to get two of its suppliers to achieve its desired result when it comes to one of this fall’s iPhone models.
The Bell reports that Japan Display and LG Display are struggling to achieve acceptable yields for LCD panels in the design of the iPhone X — curved corners with a notch at the top for an optical hardware bay. The unique design has brought about light leakage issues — which causes noticeable uneven lighting on the screen and could potentially affect optical readings from the TrueDepth camera rumored to be included in the notch area — in many test units.
Unit costs for such a specialized LCD can often rise into similar territory as a standard OLED display. Both companies have been struggling in advancing their OLED assembly lines while the former company is trying to stay afloat with liquid assets.
It has been rumored that an LCD iPhone would be the affordable option — market analysts are guessing starting prices between $550 and $800 — in this year’s release strategy with two premium-plus OLED models also set to be announced in September.
While the LCD model was ostensibly scheduled to begin sales alongside the others, the yield problems could delay the mass production process ergo the sales date to sometime in November — much like how the iPhone X lagged behind the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last year.
One off-hand rumor stipulated that the LCD model would actually feature an OLED display instead.
Korean securities firms see the OLED options coming more into favor this year, taking around two-thirds of the 100 million estimated new model iPhone sales for the upcoming year. Other observers see the LCD iPhone as the majority in the mix.