Apple's 2020 iPhones will likely get upgraded displays after the XR disappoints

  • Apple's 2020 lineup of iPhones is likely to ditch LCD displays completely in favor of OLED, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • OLED displays appear more brilliant and colorful and offer more flexibility in design compared with LCD displays.
  • Japan Display, which supplies LCD displays for Apple, is reportedly seeking a bailout as its business suffers from Apple's supply changes.
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect iPhone XR.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect iPhone XR.

Apple's full line of 2020 iPhones is likely to get a display upgrade and ditch liquid-crystal display (LCD) completely, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The iPhone XR is the only model in Apple's latest iPhone release that still uses an LCD display, rather than an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, which allows for greater design flexibility and is supposed to show a higher-quality color display. But the phone, which was expected to be more appealing to budget-conscious shoppers with a price tag starting at $750 rather than $999 for the XS, has failed to meet sales expectations. Earlier this month, Apple published a letter to investors downgrading its guidance for its first quarter of 2019 in light of weak iPhone sales, among other factors.

However, CEO Tim Cook told CNBC earlier this month that the XR has been Apple's best-selling iPhone model since it launched last fall.

The shift from LCD to OLED would have a great impact on Apple suppliers like Japan Display, which is already suffering from supply cuts from Apple, the Journal reported. Japan Display, which supplies LCD displays for Apple, is in advanced talks with an investor group from Taiwan and China to bail it out with a potential investment of the equivalent of $550 million with a 30 percent stake in the company, the report says. The deal could give Taiwan's TPK Holdings and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund even more control of the company later on, the Journal reported.

Japan Display has sought bailouts in the past as the industry has begun to shift to OLED displays. In 2016, Japan Display sought a bailout equal to about $703 million from a fund backed by the Japanese government as Samsung increasingly used OLED displays in its designs, the Journal reported at the time.

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Watch: Hands on with the new Apple iPhone XR — a more affordable version of the iPhone X