Apple supplier Japan Display has found a way to reduce the cost of flexible displays by swapping OLED panels for LCD. The company plans to start mass producing its new screens in 2018, and they’re likely to appear in future iPhones.
Rumors continue to stack up claiming that next year’s iPhone will ship with a curved display, but The Wall Street Journal suggests that such a smartphone is just “one of more than 10 prototypes being considered.”
Apple display maker Japan Display continues to suffer setbacks, with the latest being a fall in its share price after it was revealed that the company is seeking financial support from a Japanese government-backed fund.
Japan Display has been hit by the triple whammy of iPhone sales falling, a damaging rise in the Japanese yen currency, and seemingly betting on the wrong horse by hanging onto LCD technology for too long while rival companies were ramping up their OLED facilities for next year’s big iPhone refresh.
The rumors that Samsung is ramping up its OLED facilities bodes well for superior displays on next year’s iPhone refresh, but there’s one party that’s not quite so pleased: struggling Apple display maker Japan Display.
The reason? Because while other companies bet big on OLED, it seems that Japan Display doubled-down on its LCD technology — and may now be suffering the effects of its ill-timed decision.
Apple display maker Japan Display has, quite literally, millions of reasons why it’s desperate for Apple to switch to OLED displays for the iPhone as soon as possible.
The company reported a ¥31.8 billion ($293.5 million) loss for the recently-ended fiscal year as the rising value of the yen, and slowing iPhone and iPad sales, hit the manufacturer hard. And according to its bosses, it’s counting on Apple introducing OLED iPhone displays to help bail it out!
It’s hardly speculation to suggest that, as soon as Apple is rumored to be entering a new area of production, every manufacturer with capacity wants to get in on the new opportunities.
The latest example of this is Japan Display, which is reportedly in the early stages of converting one of its factories in Ishikawa factory into an test production line to try and win iPhone orders when Apple switches to using OLED displays in the near future.