3D Touch Component Costs for OLED iPhone ‘150% Higher’ Than LCD Models

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A new report on Friday added support to the claim that Apple is
facing higher component costs for this year’s highly anticipated
OLED iPhone, which some analysts believe will carry a “premium”
price tag compared to previous models.

The 3D
Touch
module in the redesigned handset will cost 150
percent more than the equivalent parts in LCD-based iPhones,
according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News.
Touch panel manufacturer TPK charges between $7 and $9 per unit
for 3D Touch parts in the existing iPhone range, but that price
will double for the new model to between $18 and $22, claimed
the paper.


The hike in price is said to be down to the fact that, in
contrast to LCD screens, OLED displays require a separate
protective glass bonding on both the front and rear of the
panel before the 3D Touch sensors can be applied.

For 3D Touch solution used in existing iPhone series, TPK and
fellow maker General Interface Solution (GIS) quote US$7-9 per
smartphone. The solution directly bonds 3D Touch sensors on
LTPS TFT-LCD display panels of the iPhone, but 3D Touch
solution for OLED panels entails bonding of a glass cover on
the front and back side of an OLED panel each to reinforce the
fragile OLED panel.

The processing cost for the OLED-based 3D Touch
solution is reportedly only 50 percent more than the LCD-based
solution, but Apple suppliers TPK and GIS are said to be quoting
three times that. The reason appears to be down to TPK’s
bargaining position, bolstered by the fact that the company has
passed official certification for the OLED-based solution.

Variously referred to as “iPhone 8“, “iPhone
Pro” and “iPhone X” by media outlets, the tenth anniversary
edition model could cost upwards of $1,000, according to
one
report
claiming knowledge of Apple’s plans. The premium
tier device is expected to feature a radical redesign with a

flat edge-to-edge screen
which is more expensive to
produce.

In addition, a virtual home button, a 3D-sensing front-facing
camera, a vertically oriented rear dual-lens camera, and some
form of wireless charging are also expected to feature, along
with fingerprint, face, and iris recognition, all of which will
likely drive up the price because of the
intricate manufacturing processes involved
. The handset is
rumored to be launching in September alongside more typical “S”
cycle iPhone models to succeed the iPhone 7 and 7
Plus, although shortages of the premium model could potentially
occur due to delayed production.

(Via DigiTimes.)