The costs to replace the following smartphone screens:
• Apple iPhone 8: $80 at both the repair shop and iFixit (tools included), $150 through Apple
• Google Pixel 3 XL: $270 from the repair shop, $170 at iFixit
• Samsung Galaxy S10: $250 at the repair shop, iFixit doesn’t have it in stock yet
“Why the huge price jump for the Pixel and Galaxy? The iPhone 8 has an LCD screen, while the Pixel 3 XL and Galaxy S10 have AMOLED (sometimes shortened to OLED) screens, both made by Samsung,” Kevin Purdy writes for iFixit. “The Korean mega-company dominates the world of OLED displays, especially in mobile devices, and so it has a big hand in the pricing of repair parts, too.
“OLED displays are complicated, delicate creatures. OLED displays contain an ultra-thin layer of organic matter, sheathed between charged plates, and any exposure to moisture, oxygen, or damage can kill them completely,” Purdy writes. “Without a marketplace of refurbished parts, only new parts can suffice, and only one company makes new OLEDs for most phones.”
“If Apple could buy OLED phone displays from anybody else, they probably would. But Samsung controls 95 percent of the smartphone OLED manufacturing market, so they can charge whatever they please,” Purdy writes. “Analysts estimated at the launch of the iPhone X that Samsung charged Apple between $110 and $130 per OLED panel. That might have added up to $22 billion Apple paid to a company that was a leading opponent in Steve Job’s ‘thermonuclear war’ against Android.”
“Competition is on the way,” Purdy writes. “Japan Display Inc captured an Apple Watch OLED contract, and wants to put $900 million into its own OLED factory. Chinese companies, backed by their government, are looking to catch up quick. In the meantime, however, Samsung can still decide how much people should pay for one of its screens.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The only thing that solves this is some true competition in the OLED display market. Maybe LG can up their game. We wouldn’t hold your breath on Japan Display; it’s been an unprofitable money pit for years.
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