It seems that the LCD panel market might turn for the worse and it will be Apple to blame. That is, if this recent report from Korean media does come to pass. According to sources, next year’s iPhone lineup will be all OLED, removing the odd duck from this year’s three iPhones. If so, the smartphone market could see a strong shift towards OLED screens despite their costs, which would spell trouble for LCD makers who are unable to adopt the technology quickly.
Apple already made a big shift when it put out the iPhone X, its first and so far only OLED phone. There was already some talk that Apple would jump ship completely but that won’t be happening this year. Instead, Apple is expected to offer one LCD iPhone sporting the same iPhone X design as a more affordable alternative.
That might be the last of the LCD iPhones. Industry sources are saying that Apple will adopt OLED screens on all three 2019 iPhones. That does raise the question of what the differentiating factor for the third iPhone will be. If, however, Apple plans to still release three iPhones next year, chances are one will still be an LCD model.
OLED’s victory of LCD technology is still not clear-cut. While it has some technical advantages, LCD panels have the upper hand in economy. They are cheaper to make and there are more LCD makers than there are OLEDs. Plus, the OLED smartphone display market hasn’t exactly been booming, especially considering there are still few OEMs using them.
If, however, Apple dives in completely, that could change the market drastically and quickly. As a trend setter, Apple’s choice will likely influence other smartphone makers as well. It could also boost the businesses of Samsung and LG, who already make OLED panels, but sink those of JDI, Sharp, and Sony.