DisplayMate Says Note 9’s Smartphone Has Best Display
August 20, 2018
AlthoughSamsung’s Note 9 will not ship until August 24, the device has set performance records reported DisplayMate. Dr. Raymond Soneira, CEO DisplayMate has given the Note 9 display its highest ever A+ rating and notes that it sets records both for the Note series and for smartphone displays generally, concerning color accuracy, where it is ‘visually indistinguishable from ‘perfect’” and a high brightness mode that generates 710 nits, which is 27% higher than the last Note version, although he previously reported that the Galaxy S 9 had a high brightness mode of ~1,000 nits.
Samsung priced the 128GB version of the Note 9 at $999 and the 512GB version at $1,249, but by pre-ordering they provide a free pair of noise cancelling headphones or a Fortnight™ skin and 15,000 v-bucks, and a credit for trading in Samsung smartphones, iPhones, LG and Google smartphones. With only five smartphone models selling over $1,000 (3 of the 5 are special editions such as the Oppo Lamborghini edition and two Huawei Porsche editions, leaving only the Samsung Note 9 and the iPhone X in the $1,000+ category. Apple (AAPL) is expected to price both the 5.8” and 6.4” OLED iPhones at $1,000 or more. Ming Chi Kuo believes the LCD version of the iPhone 9 will start between $600 and $700 while Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley is leaning between $699 and $769 (Source: TheStreet). The iPhone 8 starts at $699. The introductory prices of iPhone have gradually increased over time and a device that features Face ID, an edge-to-edge display, and superior performance to iPhone 8 should not be priced less. Apple has shown that customers are willing to pay more for smartphones. The average selling price of an iPhone jumped 20% last quarter to $724; this is higher than the starting price of iPhone 8 and accounts for ongoing sales of iPhone 7, 7+, 6S+, and 6S devices with starting prices between $449 and $669. If Apple maintains the $1000+ pricing on its OLED iPhones, this cheaper iPhone will certainly become the volume device and making it any cheaper than iPhone 8 will hurt gross margins.
Even though iPhone X is priced $350 higher than iPhone 7, on a year-over-year basis Apple’s gross margin remained relatively unchanged. The problem with iPhone X was that the cost of the flexible OLED display made it difficult for Apple to maintain margins without significantly raising the price of the device. Estimates vary, but it’s estimated that the display in iPhone X costs Apple as much as $70 more than the standard LCD display in iPhone 8.