Luke Lin, senior analyst at Digitimes Research, has revealed that Apple will be launching a new 5.85-inch iPhone with an OLED display this year. It is supposed to be an upgrade to the existing iPhone X. The most interesting fact about this device is that Apple has decided to keep its initial manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) much lower than that of the iPhone X.
Citing information from Apple’s upstream supply chain, Lin has confirmed that the MBOM of this upcoming Apple device will be more than 10% lower than that of the iPhone X, which was around US$400 in 2017.
Two next-generation iPhones are already lined up for release in 2018. Apart from these two OLED-based iPhones with 5.85-inch and 6.45-inch displays, there’s also a report about another 6.1-inch LCD model. Naturally, the 5.85-inch model, containing adopted components with lower-level specifications or lower capacities than those of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with LPDDR memory, is expected to be the cheapest one among these three next-generation Apple OLED iPhone models.
There was another project undertaken by Apple to develop a 5.85-inch LCD iPhone. But for some reason, it was canceled later. Lin also suggested that the 5.85-inch OLED model might very well be the upgradation of the canceled LCD project, modified due to MBOM concerns.
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The weak demand for iPhone X, saw the company pulling in a lot fewer OLED panels from Samsung Display than it had committed earlier. The deal was compensated by giving the Korea-based panel supplier advanced orders for more bargaining chips for the upcoming next-generation iPhones. According to Lin, Apple has made a deal with Samsung Display that could prevent the cost increases, at least from the panel side.