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Apple Suppliers GIS and TKP are Building New Capacity to Handle Apple's Next-Gen 3D OLED Touch Panels

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Patently Apple posted a report on February 17 titled "Key Apple Touch Module Supplier sees a Bright 2017 with new iDevice Lineup and Next-Gen 3D Touch." I noted in the report that a Taipai-based research firm stated after TKP's financial conference that investors walked away positive about 2017 and especially because TKP was supplying Apple with a next-gen 3D Touch force module for their new iPhone. More specifically, the analyst stated for the report that "The average price per unit of 3D touch module in the past is around $8 to $9, but the price for the more sophisticated force touch module for this year's new iPhone will rise to some $14 to $15. That would definitely help boost the revenue of suppliers in the second half of this year."

 

Today Digitimes reports that Touch panel makers General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK have set aside capex budgets between US$152 to US$163 to set up capacity to produce 3D touch panels for new iPhones to be launched later this year.

 

GIS and TPK are two main makers in the iPhone supply chain. Since a new iPhone will be equipped with AMOLED panels for the first time, the matched 3D touch solution will be based on thin film instead of glass adopted to existing iPhones.

 

The manufacturing process for thin film-based 3D touch solutions more complicated and the price rises from about US$9 for a glass-based 3D touch sensor to over US$15 for a thin film-based sensor.

 

On March 6 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple to reportedly use 3 Korean Flexible Printed Circuit Board Suppliers for iPhone 8 and Shift all iPhones to OLED in 2019." The flurry of activity surrounding the next-gen iPhone 8 is quite impressive and exciting many suppliers as the shift to OLED displays that are beginning to take shape is taking a lot of new investment and potential profits for old and new suppliers.

 

Apple Supplier GIS was also in the news in late February and we covered it in our report titled "Apple Watch Reportedly Shifting to Glass-Film Touch Solutions Later this Year to Gain better Production Yields." GIS is quickly becoming a major Apple supplier for display technologies.

 

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