With the inevitable arrival of this year's iPhone, fans and pundits are hoping that it will be a revolutionary, not just an evolutionary, step for Apple's flagship device. After all, this year marks the iPhone's 10-year anniversary and anything less than spectacular will be considered a letdown.
But what price are you willing to pay for all the groundbreaking features the iPhone 8 is promising? Well, it looks like you will have to start saving to get Apple's flagship gadget this year.
That's because the upcoming iPhone 8 could be the most expensive iPhone model yet and, as earlier rumors suggest, might cost over $1,000!
Now, a recent report gives this pricing rumor more credibility. One of the reasons for the "premium" price tag may be the higher cost of incorporating 3D Touch on the iPhone 8's rumored OLED screen.
A report from DigiTimes revealed that the cost of equipping an OLED panel with 3D Touch capabilities will be 150 percent more than with the current iPhone models' LCD screens.
According to the report, touch panel manufacturer TPK Holdings and General Interface Solution (GIS) gave Apple a quote of $18-$22 for each OLED 3D Touch component and the iPhone manufacturer has accepted. This price is more than double the $7-$9 cost TPK currently charges for the 3D Touch component used in current iPhones.
The higher cost is said to be due to the fragility of OLED panels that require additional bonding of glass covers. Unlike LCD screens, where the 3D Touch sensors can be bonded directly to the panel, OLED screens need to be reinforced with front and back glass bonding before the 3D Touch components can be installed. Per DigiTimes:
"For 3D Touch solution used in existing iPhone series, TPK and fellow maker General Interface Solution (GIS) quote US$7-9 per smartphone. The solution directly bonds 3D Touch sensors on LTPS TFT-LCD display panels of the iPhone, but 3D Touch solution for OLED panels entails bonding of a glass cover on the front and back side of an OLED panel each to reinforce the fragile OLED panel."
However, one curious detail from the report stated that the overall processing cost for the 3D Touch capable OLED panels is only about 50 percent higher LCD-based ones but TPK and GIS are charging Apple three times as much.
It appears that despite Apple's clout, TPK has the upper hand on the negotiating table due to TPK's recent certification for the OLED 3D Touch technology. Furthermore, Apple can't afford to suffer further delays for its flagship product.
Everyone seems to agree that we will see three separate iPhone models in 2017 - two "s" models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and this third premium version that might rock all the rumored groundbreaking technologies.
This premium iPhone 8 will likely include a 5.8-inch borderless, curved OLED display, IP68 waterproofing, integrated virtual home button, 3D sensing front camera and display embedded fingerprint scanner.
As we reported earlier, what might really set apart the iPhone 8 OLED curved screen from other OLED panels is Apple's use of hardware capable of new sensing technologies, including 3D Touch. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8, wherein the fingerprint sensor is located on the back, we are hoping Apple will be able to integrate it with the front panel itself.
What do you think? Are you willing to pay more than $1,000 for the iPhone 8? Drop us a comment!