Apple could add second OLED supplier, kill 3D Touch for 2019 iPhones

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The iPhone XS Max screen delivers more of that OLED awesomeness.
iPhone 11 will do little to reverse falling shipments.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple could team up with a new OLED display-maker ahead of this year’s iPhone refresh. The move may mean that Samsung plays a smaller part in future iPhone production.

Industry sources have also reignited rumors that none of Apple’s next-generation handsets will offer 3D Touch.

Apple has been relying on Samsung to produce all of its OLED displays for iPhone since it started making the switch away from LCD technology with the iPhone X.

Other display-makers have reportedly been unable to meet Apple’s standards — or the incredibly high demand of the iPhone. But a new report claims a second supplier has now been lined up.

Apple bolster iPhone display supply

BOE Technology is reportedly on the verge of joining Apple’s small list of OLED screen suppliers, according to a new report out of China. But the reason for the partnership might surprise you.

It’s not that Apple is looking to distance itself from Samsung — or that BOE Technology can make better displays. Apple is said to be expanding its supplier list due to supply concerns.

It is thought Apple is worried that recent restrictions placed on exports of fluorinated polyamides — used in the production of OLED panels — from Japan to Korea might “dampen” production of OLED displays at Samsung.

If Samsung remains Apple’s only OLED supplier for the iPhone, any disruption in production could have a huge affect on iPhone orders.

3D Touch to disappear this year

A separate report from Digitimes, citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, repeats claims that 3D Touch will be phased out this year. It’s thought none of Apple’s 2019 handsets will feature it.

Apple has proven with the iPhone XR that the hardware behind 3D Touch isn’t completely necessary to deliver 3D Touch functionality in iOS. It’s likely Haptic Touch will become the standard across all models.