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Apple's iPhone X could make Samsung big bucks

Samsung could profit more from Apple's phone than it does from its own.


Apple and Samsung may be two of tech's biggest frenemies, but both of them are rooting for the iPhone X.


Samsung may be partly responsible for the iPhone X's all new screen.

James Martin/CNET

For every iPhone X Apple makes, Samsung is estimated to earn $110 (roughly £83/AU$140), due to the Samsung-manufactured OLED displays and memory chips that go into each device. In fact, if the iPhone X strikes it rich, Samsung may make more money off of iPhone sales than it does off of its own Galaxy S8, according to analysis by Counterpoint Technology (via The Wall Street Journal).

Despite the never-ending legal battles and competing top-tier phones, the two tech companies may rely on each other more than you'd expect. Samsung is one of the world's main suppliers of OLED screens. With the iPhone X introducing OLED to iPhone for the first time, Samsung is an obvious choice. And while Apple's phones get their fancy new screens, Samsung makes a healthy profit in the process.

Counterpoint's analysis estimates that Apple will sell around 130 million iPhone X's in the 20 months after its debut. If Samsung makes $110 per iPhone, that puts the earnings at $14.3 billion (about £10.8 billion/AU$18.3 billion). The same research firm claims that Samsung makes $202 off of components for the Galaxy S8, and estimates 50 million devices sold in a 20-month period. Putting the S8 earnings at $10.1 billion (£7.6 billion/AU$12.9 billion), over $4 billion less than the iPhone estimate.

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Although this is good news for Samsung, Apple is reportedly looking into other manufacturers to source its OLED displays. The only problem is that Apple can sell hundreds of millions of iPhones every year, so its manufacturers would have to be able to keep pace with similarly huge numbers. Currently, few suppliers can keep up with the amount of OLED screens that Samsung can produce.

In the meantime, Apple may have to play nice with Samsung, especially if it wants to make more OLED iPhones in the future.

The iPhone X will release on Nov. 3, with preorders starting on Oct. 27.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment and Samsung declined to comment on this story.