It’s a well-known secret that Samsung is the sole supplier for OLED panels for last year’s iPhone X and this year’s iPhone XS and XS Max. However, those panels take a good chunk of the overall production cost so Samsung is reportedly offering a more affordable option.
But more affordable doesn’t mean worse. In fact, Samsung has incorporated the so-called Y-Octa panels found on the Galaxy Note9, S9 and S9+ that make use of the in-cell touch technology. It allows for thinner, lighter, much cheaper and will allow Apple to be more flexible with the XS Max pricing next year. Supposedly, fewer layers also mean better sunlight legibility.
According to industry sources, the Y-Octa panels were offered by Samsung for the production of the 2018 iPhones, but Apple wasn’t happy with the yield. Come to think of it, this might be the reason why the Y-Octa panels will only make it to the 2019 XS Max.