Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to release three new iPhone models in 2017, and one of those will have a curved screen, as per the information a source delivered to Nikkei Asian Review on Monday. The WSJ and other similar outlets have widely reported that for the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, Apple plans bigger design changes including eliminating the ‘home button’ on the iPhone 8.
As per Nikkei report, there will be two flat screen iPhone versions – a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch, and there will be a third phone with screen size 5.5-inch or larger with screen bent on the two sides like top-end phones from Samsung. In September 2016, therefore, only two new models of iPhone 7 are expected to be released. One of those will have a dual-lens camera, as per the information an unnamed source delivered to Nikkei.
Issues facing Apple
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) commands the lion’s share of profit in the smartphone industry, and needs to keep it up. For this reason, the firm is investing heavily in research and development. And, for this reason, the company’s hands are somewhat tied up when it comes to the iPhone’s bill of materials cost.
Apple desires to stay immensely profitable. And, for this reason, it needs to be more judicious about incorporating new tech that leads to higher manufacturing cost and/or complexity, notes a report from Madison.com. The iPhone maker can see its competitive positioning and its users’ experience improve drastically with the help of some of these tech. While some could seem gimmicky to the customers, and end up just adding costs.
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The problem of availability is another major issue that has kept Apple from adopting some latest tech. Every year, the firm sells hundreds of millions of phones. At times, it is not logical to take the risk on technology with low manufacturing yields, or for which there is fairly limited industry-wide capacity.
Ultra-premium iPhone could prove very useful
If as reported, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does introduce a third, ultra-premium iPhone in 2017 alongside two more ‘mainstream’ iPhones then it will likely be able to tackle both the problems, notes the report from Madison.com. It is clear that making an iPhone with a curved OLED display would be more expensive than making an iPhone with a traditional liquid crystal display. OLED panels have the ‘bent’ flexible screens as one of their features, and are known for better color gamut.
So, it would add few more features to the curved OLED one to justify its premium price. The increased cost structure will not be a problem, if it is able to charge customers more for the model with an OLED display. Also, Samsung is the only supplier of OLED displays, and if Apple releases the curved OLED model in limited quantities, then having just one supplier won’t be too big of a risk.