Apple Pushes LG to Compete with Samsung’s OLED Displays

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Apple is pushing LG to enter the smartphone OLED display industry ahead of the 2018 iPhone, according to a new report.

While Samsung — the world’s current largest producers of OLED panels — is expected to be the sole supplier for Apple’s upcoming 2017 iPhone, Cupertino is apparently attempting to coax LG into competition with Samsung. As of April 17, LG Display has all but decided to supply Apple with OLED panels for iPhones in 2018 — and the manufacturer will reportedly confirm the decision in a June board meeting, according to Business Korea.

“We received a request to take part in a bid for receiving an order for small and medium-sized OLEDs from Apple,” a senior LG Display official told the publication. “At the end of June, we will make a decision based on OLED production technology, capacity and the accompanying investment volume in an extraordinary board meeting.”

Apple has been exploring opportunities to receive OLED shipments from LG in an attempt to move into a multi-vendor strategy for small and medium-sized OLEDs. LG, for its part, was unsure that it was able to mass-produce enough OLED panels of high enough quality for Apple — due to LG’s inexperience in small and medium-sized OLED panel production. On the other hand, the display manufacturer determined that it would lag behind other competitors in the market if they didn’t invest in the burgeoning OLED industry — a display medium that’s rapidly turning out to be the new standard for flagship smartphones.

LG is already the primary supplier of OLED panels for the Apple Watch — although that device clocks far fewer shipments than Apple’s flagship smartphone does. LG has similarly been preparing to ramp up its OLED production capacities by 2018. Reportedly, one of LG Display’s production facilities will enter full operational capacity in the second half of 2017 — allowing the company to produce and supply Apple with as many OLED panels as it needs, Business Korea reported.

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