Apple’s high demand for OLED displays for upcoming iPhone generations makes the company dependent on Samsung’s display. To prevent this, Apple is to invest up to 2.6 billion US dollars in LG display, as The Investor from Korea reports. A new work only for Apple is to increase the quality of LG panels.
For the iPhone 8 alone, Apple is estimated to require around 80 million OLED displays. Currently, Samsung Display is the only way to deliver these numbers in the quality required by Apple.
Samsung display with monopoly
Apple, however, is reluctant to depend on a supplier, especially if it is Samsung (display). LG Display, which has now expanded its OLED production of TVs to smaller panels for smartphones, but can not yet deliver in the quality desired by Apple. As The Investor reports, LG Display just meets 70 percent of Apple’s requirements. LG Display is still far ahead of the Chinese competition. Nevertheless, Apple should also consider the Chinese BOE Technology Group as an OLED supplier.
LG Display requires special equipment
With an investment of up to 2.62 billion US dollars (2.3 billion euros) by Apple, LG Display is now to be grasped. A new factory was planned for OLED production for Apple only. The E6 plant will be able to produce up to 30,000 panels per month from the beginning of 2019, and up to 60,000 panels per month after an expansion. After the next Board meeting at the end of July, a decision should be taken.
Critical to the increase in production is the installation of special vacuum production machines from Canon Tokki, which are only available in very small quantities. LG Display has been able to secure two units, the installations of which are due in December this year and in February 2018.
OLED panels are becoming increasingly important
Although OLED displays in smartphones have been available for a decade, 2017 seems to be a decisive year for panel technology. Samsung has always used the technology, but LG wants to use the V30 and G7 again OLED panels in smartphones. For Google, the availability of OLED panels is so important that the company invests in Pixel 2 with around 830 million euros also in LG display. For Apple, the iPhone 8 after the Apple Watch and the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (test) is the first smartphone with OLED technology.