KGI: iPhone 8 cost higher due to Samsung controlling OLED, no Touch ID due to 3D Touch

KGI is out with a new report ahead of Apple’s September 12 event that shares a few details about the iPhone 8, or iPhone Edition as it may be called. Specifically, the latest report explains why the OLED iPhone must carry a premium price this year as well as the reason Apple will probably drop Touch ID fingerprint recognition.

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The analysis breaks down the structure of the new iPhone’s display which KGI expects to include a flexible OLED panel, an OLED touch panel, a 3D Touch module, and an OLED panel module. The report believes Samsung will be responsible for providing each OLED part with the only exception in the stack being the 3D Touch module.

For that reason, Samsung is able to charge a premium on OLED panels which KGI expects will cost more than twice as much per unit as the LCD panels in the Plus model iPhones. Specifically, KGI estimates OLED unit cost at $120-$130 per unit versus the $45-$55 unit cost of LCD panels. This could certainly explain the expected price tag of around $1,000 when the current iPhone range goes from $650 to $970.

KGI notes that this cost factor gives Apple more reason to pick up a second OLED supplier as well which would presumably help with expected inventory constraints.

And speaking of the 3D Touch module, the one part of the display stack Samsung doesn’t touch, KGI believes the pressure sensitive display technology is likely why Apple is believed to have abandoned Touch ID on the OLED iPhone. While Apple was originally aiming to embed Touch ID under the display according to reports, KGI believes that OLED creates an unfavorable scan-through performance for the fingerprint sensor.

In place of Touch ID, which will likely go away in favor of a nearly bezel-less display, Apple is expected to rely on facial recognition features exclusively on the new high end iPhone.

9to5Mac will have full coverage of Apple’s September 12 event next week so stay tuned for all the details.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.