iPhone 14 clues from China: More supply, lower prices, fewer models

According to industry sources speaking in China this week, plans for display type in iPhone 14 orders could be the key to a major change in Apple's smartphone strategy. Over the past several years, Apple's iPhone release schedule had the brand deliver four different smartphone devices. With the info appearing this week, it's become more likely than ever before that Apple will reduce the number of NEW iPhone models it reveals each year, instead using older models as just-as-good for all price tiers.

According to sources speaking with The Elec this week, the company BOE is set to grow its involvement with Apple hardware manufacturing in a significant way over the next few years. In details on which sorts of display panels BOE will likely handle, it was revealed that Apple is "planning to apply low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) OLED panels on at least one of the four models planned for iPhone 14."

The iPhone 13 works with two sorts of display panel – the Pro models have LTPO TFT OLED panels (made by Samsung Display). The two non-Pro iPhone 13 models work with LTPS OLED. It's entirely possible that the new "more affordable" iPhone (with 6.7-inch display) will be the only non-Pro device of the bunch.

It could be that rumors of the removal of the "mini" brand of iPhone will be replaced by a three-iPhone 14 lineup, two of which are Pro. The "four" bit noted by The Elec could potentially refer to the next-generation iPhone SE, which would effectively take the place of the "mini" tier in Apple's overall modern lineup.

If this is all true, Apple could further differentiate the non-Pro iPhone from the Pro iPhone with a significantly lower price with 6.7-inch panels already in production by Samsung, LG, and now BOE! More competition, more supply, means lower prices and more affordable phones for the end customer.