Apple is scheduled to host its annual launch event next week on September 12. Along the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, the highlight of the show is expected to be the anniversary edition iPhone 8 aka iPhone X. In the past few months, we have come across so many leaks, renders and speculations about the iPhone, that it feels like we already know pretty much everything there is to it.
However, one thing has always been a question mark, and that is the price of the smartphone. Some rumors vaguely pointed it to be over $800 (Rs 51,200 approximately), but a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculates it to be between $999 (Rs 64,000 approximately) and $1,200 (Rs 76,800 approximately). Kuo also blames Samsung for the astonishing pricing.
According to Kuo, Apple is facing issues with OLED supplies for the iPhone 8. But what does that have to do with Samsung? Well, Apple is currently sourcing OLED displays from its industry rival Samsung, which apparently is the only company capable of producing the edge to edge OLED panels that Apple is trying to incorporate in the iPhone 8. And that’s reportedly led Apple to urgently look for another source for OLED supply. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 storage variant and price leaked, may not be launched on September 12: Report
Apple may now be paying $120 to $130 (Rs 7,600 to Rs 8,300) for each OLED display panel instead of the price of $45 to $55 (Rs 2,900 to Rs 3,500) for the LCD panels being used in iPhone 7 Plus. ALSO READ: iPhone X: Apple’s 10th anniversary edition smartphone may not be called the iPhone 8: Report
However, unfortunately (for the high price) or not (because OLED displays!), Apple doesn’t have much of a choice any more. Samsung is a major producer of OLED screens, which it has also been using in its own phone for years, and Apple reportedly retained Samsung as the exclusive provider of the displays for the upcoming release. Samsung is believed to be on the hook for 160 million panels over the course of the deal. And this exclusivity gives Samsung the monopoly to charge twice as much per unit as Apple paid for LCD panels from previous suppliers, according to Kuo’s report. ALSO READ: Apple ‘iPhone 8′, ‘iPhone 8 Plus’, ‘iPhone Edition’ possible names for 2017 iPhone lineup
So of course, that premium is the main reason for the surging price of the iPhone. However, Kuo points out other features like a facial-recognition sensor to be contribute to the cost as well. But he says that Samsung’s pricey OLED panels are the main culprit, and that it is the reason why Apple “is in urgent need of finding a second source”. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 could let you invoke Siri by holding the sleep-wake button: Report