Last year, Apple struck a major deal with Samsung Electronics Co. subsidiary, Samsung Display, under the terms of which the South Korean tech heavyweight would supply Cupertino with as many as 200 million OLED display panels for current (and future) iPhone X devices.
A fresh report published this week by Korea’s The Investor, however, is suggesting that Apple not only wants to diversify its OLED supplier base in 2018, but that LG Display is finally expected to begin shipping OLED display panels to Apple beginning the second half of this year — all while discussions of a longer-term, contractual deal between the companies is currently underway, at least one industry source confirmed.
“Sources said LG Display is likely to produce larger 6.5-inch screens,” The Investor noted, citing industry sources with knowledge of the ongoing talks, who added that Samsung Display will “focus more on producing smaller 5.8- or 6-inch screens” for the company’s other iPhone devices due out this year.
New 2018 iPhones
According to the current slate of reports, Apple is expected to release as many as four new iPhone models in 2018:
- A second-generation iPhone X boasting the same 5.8-inch AMOLED display
- A considerably larger, 6.5-inch variant of the same device dubbed ‘iPhone X Plus’
- A supposedly ‘mid-range’ iPhone offering equipped with a large 6.1-inch LCD panel
- And an ‘iPhone SE 2’ refresh which could potentially hit the market in March or April of 2018.
Meanwhile, today’s report indicates that LG Display will begin ramping up OLED production at its new E6 display manufacturing plant, located in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. Interestingly, while LG Display is expected to churn out as many as 16 million OLED panels during the second half of this year – Samsung Display in comparison, is already the world’s largest supplier of OLED displays for mobile, and is capable of cranking out roughly 10 million panels per month, at present.
All that said and considered, Apple’s decision to diversify its OLED supplier base is not uncalled for and appears like it would take a whole lot of pressure off Samsung — who’s already responsible for building AMOLED panels for its range of Galaxy smartphones.
Lastly, today’s report appears to converge nicely with previous reports, which suggested that Apple (last year) was making big, behind the scenes investments in the firm’s capacity to become its secondary OLED supplier.
Along with industry leaders Anwell Technologies Ltd., and AU Optronics, LG Display is already manufacturing OLED panels for commercially available devices including the company’s own LG V30, G6, and Google’s latest Pixel XL 2 which features the display maker’s gorgeous P-OLED panel. Let’s just hope LG gets their ducks in a line quickly so those massive 6.5-inchers don’t suffer from the same burn-in issue, right?