WWII-era dispute could ensnarl release of 2019 iPhones

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iPhone 11 rumor from Olixar
Apple could feel the fallout from a dispute between Japan and South Korea.
Photo: Olixar

Another dispute between countries looms over Apple, but this one dates back to World War II and could cause the tech giant heartburn as it readies the lineup of 2019 iPhones.

Japan will tighten export restrictions on South Korea for materials used to make smartphone chips and displays beginning Thursday. Japan imposed the rule after a court in South Korea ordered Japan’s Nippon Steel to compensate South Koreans for wartime forced labor.

Sharp wants a piece of iPhone OLED manufacturing

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The iPhone XS Max screen delivers more of that OLED awesomeness.
Foxconn-owned manufacturer is looking to get in on building high quality displays for Apple.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Japanese electronics firm Sharp, owned by Apple supplier Foxconn, is supposedly working to enter the supply chain for future iPhones boasting OLED displays.

The news comes shortly after a report claiming that Apple plans to include all OLED displays in its 2020 iPhone lineup. Currently it includes a mix of LCD and OLED models. As a result of the increased focus on OLED displays, a number of companies are supposedly gearing up their OLED panel production capability.

Inexpensive LCDs could stay in Apple’s iPhone lineup until 2020

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2018 iPhone compared to 2017 iPhone X
The 6.1-inch iPhone anticipated for this fall apparently won't be Apple's last with an LCD screen.
Photo: Jonas Dähnert

LG has reportedly been contracted to create LCD panels for an iPhone model that will be released next year. If true, it means that Apple is definitely planning a phone with a traditional LCD in 2019, and isn’t going to all OLED screens. At least not yet

An earlier unconfirmed report indicated that this fall’s LCD iPhone will be the company’s last. That’s perhaps not surprising. given that OLED displays are superior in several ways

Chinese company could compete with Samsung on OLED iPhone screens

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BOE Technology Group already makes LCDs for Apple, and this Chinese company now wants to produce OLED iPhone screens.
BOE Technology Group already makes LCDs for Apple, and this Chinese company now wants to produce OLED iPhone screens.
Photo: BOE Technology Group

One of the most important components of the 2018 iPhone could be produced by a company with very strong ties to the Chinese government.

BOE Technology Group already makes some LCD screens for Apple, but also wants to manufacture OLED displays used in flagship iPhone models.

Death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall

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iPhone plus model next to iPhone X
Our artist's concept of what the iPhone Xs Plus might look like. And this won't even be the largest of the 2018 iPhone models.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

All of the 2018 iPhone models will have Face ID, according to an industry analyst. This helps confirm earlier reports that Apple is phasing out its Touch ID fingerprint-scanning system in favor of the facial-recognition system that debuted in the iPhone X. 

The analyst also indicated that two of the three models coming this fall will have OLED displays. There will be one medium-size and two bigger iPhones, both larger than any before.

Samsung ramps up iPhone OLED production in a big way

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iOS 11 Beta 4
Samsung is seeking a bigger piece of the iPhone pie.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Samsung plans a massive seven-fold increase in OLED production for Apple this year, according to a new report.

The display-making Samsung division reportedly installed seven production lines at its A3 plant, which will be dedicated exclusively to Apple. They will allow Samsung’s monthly OLED capacity for iPhone screens to increase from “just” 15,000 sheets to a massive 105,000 sheets!