[THE INVESTOR] Apple has decided to ditch the smallest 5.28-inch OLED iPhone next year, while adding a larger -- possibly more than 6 inches -- LCD model into the full lineup, according to The Bell on Sept. 25.
Citing local parts makers, the report said Apple had originally given panel orders to Samsung Display, its sole OLED supplier, under a plan to launch three OLED iPhones next year -- 5.28-, 5.85-, and 6.46-inch models. But the report said the development work for the 5.28-inch model has recently been suspended possibly due to the low marketability of the smaller version.
While ditching the 5.28-inch OLED model, Apple has reportedly made new panel orders to LCD producer Japan Display for a 6 plus-inch model.
Apple preferred to use 4-inch smaller screens for its iPhone. Even though it started launching a larger 5-inch model since 2014, it has maintained 4-inch models, including the 4.7-inch variant for the latest iPhone 8.
Industry watchers say Apple’s strategic change comes amid the popularity of larger-screen phones for video viewing. For its archrival Samsung Electronics, the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus has outpaced its smaller 5.8-inch sibling in terms of sales.
As the number of OLED models is being reduced from three to two, Korean parts makers are also likely to see a sizeable decline in sales from iPhone orders.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)