Apple is paying between $7 and $9 per unit for iPhone 7’s 3D Touch components, but that price is expected to triple for the firm’s rumored OLED-based iPhone 8 model to between $18 and $22.
The 150 percent price increase, according to a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News cited by DigiTimes, stems from the fact that pressure sensors for OLED displays require a separate protective glass bonding on both the front and rear of the display panel.
“Due to the additional bonding of glass covers, overall processing cost for OLED-based 3D Touch solution is about 50 percent higher than that for the LCD-based one but the quotes for the client is about 150 percent higher,” reads the report.
Taiwanese touch panel makers TPK Holdings and General Interface Solution act as suppliers of 3D Touch parts for existing LCD-based iPhones. Both TPK and General Interface Solution should be the sole suppliers of iPhone 8’s enhanced 3D Touch components as well.
Apple has accepted the price increase, according to Economic Daily News.
iPhone 7’s 3D Touch module, as mentioned before, directly bonds pressure sensors on the LCD display panel. For OLED display technology, TPK’s 3D Touch solution entails bonding of a glass cover on the front and back side of an OLED panel each “to reinforce the fragile panel.”
TPK has reportedly passed certification for its OLED-based 3D Touch solution for iPhone 8. The company now expects to obtain significant orders from Apple.