Patently Apple posted a report in March titled "Apple Suppliers GIS and TPK are Building New Capacity to Handle Apple's Next-Gen 3D OLED Touch Panels." This was confirmed in a new report published today by the Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News. The news also noted that Apple had accepted TPK's quote of US$18-22 for the new 3D Touch solution to be used in the iPhone 8 shipping in September.
The current 3D Touch solution used in today's 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.
Due to the additional bonding of glass covers, overall processing cost for OLED-based 3D Touch solution is about 50% higher than that for the LCD-based one but the quotes for the client is about 150% higher. Therefore, TPK and GIS are expected to significantly benefit from Apple's orders for OLED-based 3D Touch solution.
TPK has passed certification for OLED-based 3D Touch solution and expects to obtain significant orders.TPK.
In February Patently Apple reported that TPK saw a bright 2017 due to selling their next-gen 3D Touch solution to Apple. The reported noted 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." Obviously the higher US$18-22 price accepted by Apple today is even higher than expected. Whether the higher cost is to cover currency or production issues is unknown at this time.
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