Apple iPhone 8's High Cost Reportedly Blamed On Samsung OLED Displays

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It is widely expected that Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 (or iPhone X, depending on who you ask), will be one of the most expensive flagship smartphones ever released by a major manufacturer (the new Galaxy Note 8 retails for roughly $950). Reports peg that starting price of the iPhone 8 at around $1,000, and today, we're being clued in to at least one contributor the lofty price tag: the OLED display panel.

According to well-respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Samsung is the sole supplier of the OLED display panels that are used by Apple on the iPhone 8. The only other major manufacturer of OLED panels for smartphones is LG, but that company reportedly doesn't have the capacity nor the ability to produce [high quality] displays in the quantity that Apple demands at this time.

Given its sole-supplier status, Samsung is reportedly commanding $120 to $130 for each OLED panel that it produces. To put that in perspective, Samsung reportedly charges $45 to $55 for the 5.5-inch LCD panels used on the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple and Samsung may be bitter rivals when it comes to smartphone sales (and consumer mindshare), but the former is highly reliant on the latter for individual iPhone components.

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Apple is reportedly working with LG to get its OLED panel manufacturing up to full speed in an effort to keep costs under control. Even so, Samsung remains a dominant player, commanding over 90 percent of the global OLED panel production.

A separate report suggests that Apple may have to wait until at least 2019 to begin receiving OLED panel shipments from LG. “It’ll be the second half of next year when LG starts test running the production lines for OLED displays for Apple and it usually takes six months for them to move into commercial production,” added UBI Research analyst Yi Choong-hoon.

Apple will unveil the iPhone 8 at keynote event held at Apple Park on September 12th.