Apple is rumored to slap a $1,000 starting price tag on the so-called iPhone 8, and the interesting part is, this could be the doing of its rival Samsung.
At any rate, if that's the case, then the upcoming iPhone will definitely have a "premium" price that can burn a pretty big hole in customers' pockets.
Samsung Dominates The OLED Market
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider), "Apple is in urgent need of finding a second source of OLED" — aside from Samsung, just to be clear.
Currently, Samsung is the sole supplier of Apple's OLED panels. That means the Cupertino brand doesn't have anything close to a leverage when it comes to negotiations, not to mention it can't pit two suppliers against each other to get a pricing to its advantage.
As a result, Kuo believes that Apple is forking over from $120 to $130 for each OLED panel for the iPhone 8. In contrast with the LCD components for the iPhone 7 Plus that cost between $45 and $55, those OLED screens are holding back the company by about twice as much.
For comparison's sake, the iPhone 7 Plus has a retail price of $769. In other words, the next-generation iPhone will roughly have a $250 markup.
Samsung Not Exactly At Fault Here
This formidable position in the OLED market is basically the payoff Samsung got for investing in research and development of screen technology early, starting with the Symbian-powered i7110, which might not ring a bell, though.
Of course, Samsung isn't the only manufacturer of OLED panels around, but at the moment, it's the only company that can meet Apple's demands for the iPhone 8.
That said, this may all soon be a thing of the past for Apple, as the iPhone maker reportedly inked a $2.62 billion investment deal with LG to not only ensure production via a dedicated manufacturing plant but also to diversify suppliers. This collaboration is expected to yield 45,000 OLED panels per month in the beginning of 2019.
Take note that while you technically "can" blame Samsung for the iPhone's alleged high price point, the fault is arguably on Apple for not investing enough in OLED sooner, opting instead for cheaper LCD panels before and doubling down on the far superior displays just recently.
As a refresher, Apple is slated to unveil the highly anticipated iPhone 8 on Sept. 12 in its "space" campus, and it's said to roll the handset out on Sept. 22, which should be taken with a grain of salt.