A new report on Friday claims Apple is facing higher than anticipated component costs for this years flagship “iPhone 8” handset, expected to debut this fall.
Touch panel maker TPK Holdings has quoted US$18-22 for 3D Touch solution for use in a new iPhone equipped with OLED panel to be launched later in 2017 and Apple has accepted the quote, according to Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News (EDN).
Many analysts believe Apple’s new flagship iPhone will carry a “premium” price tag, and will be the first iPhone to break the $1,000 mark.
Apple currently pays much less for the 3D Touch solution it uses in the current iPhone lineup.
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.
While production costs for the OLED-based 3D Touch solution is reported to be only 50% higher than the LCD-based solution, Apple suppliers TPK and GIS are said to be quoting it as three times that cost. TPK apparently feels as if it is in the catbird seat, as the company has passed official certification for the OLED-based solution.
The new “iPhone 8” handset is expected to debut this September, alongside new iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models. It is widely expected supplies of the iPhone 8 will be in extremely short supply, due to production issues.