Apple is widely expected to launch a 10th anniversary iPhone Edition dubbed as ‘iPhone 8’ or may be the ‘iPhone Edition’ later this year. The iPhone 8 is widely rumored to ditch LCD display in favor of OLED panels. A switch to a different display tech would mean that the 3D Touch module will have to be redesigned as well.
A new report from the Chinese Daily suggests that the 3D Touch module for the OLED iPhone 8 is going to cost up to 150% more than the LCD variants. The Economics Daily News also supports the claim and reports that Apple has accepted a quote of $18-22 for the new 3D Touch module for the iPhone 8 from the TPK Holdings. In comparison, the 3D Touch module on the LCD iPhone variant costs anywhere between $7-9.
This increase in the cost of 3D Touch module is said to be due to the sophisticated integration process with the LED display panels. According to the report, the complex procedure includes bonding of the LED display with protective glass from both the front and the back before the integration of 3D Touch sensors, resulting in about 50% increase in the processing cost.
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.
Since TPK already has the certification of manufacturing 3D Touch sensors over OLED displays, they are highly likely to get the majority of orders from Apple.
Apple is expected to unveil iPhone 8 later this year with rumored features such as OLED display, Touch ID embedded within the display, minimal bezels, and a price tag of around $1,000. Apple is also rumored to introduce 3D scanner in the front-facing camera for facial recognition. All these new features and components are said to be expensive to manufacture and will result in an expensive OLED iPhone 8 compared to the regular LCD models.