Following a Bloomberg report of LG supplying OLED panels to Apple for the 2018 iPhone X Plus, a Korea Times report is corroborating the same. The report claims that Apple may soon start using LG Display as a “secondary supplier” of OLED panels for 2018 iPhones.
Citing an “industry official familiar with the matter,” the report states that LG Display will supply around 3-5 million OLED panels to Apple.
“Initially, Apple will get between 3 million and 5 million OLED displays from LG Display. LG plans to increase its production capacity,” said an industry official familiar with the matter.
While LG is looking to improve its OLED display yield, it is unlikely to be in a position to supply Apple with more than 5 million OLED panels for the 2018 iPhones. This is despite Apple interested in expanding its partnership with LG Display and acquire more OLED panels from it in a deal that’s worth millions of dollars. However, until and unless LG gets around to increasing its OLED yield capacity, not much can happen.
The quality of the OLED panels supplied by LG is also going to be a concern. This is because the current quality of LG’s OLED display panels — like the one used in LG’s own V30 — is not as good as the panels used by Samsung in the Galaxy S9 or even the Galaxy Note 8 from last year.
The report also says that Apple is “eyeing developing foldable iPhones” which will be released after a few years.
Apple is looking to secure a secondary OLED supplier as it would allow it to secure a better deal for the panels from Samsung, its primary OLED supplier. By securing a second supplier, Apple will also be able to reduce its reliance on Samsung for a key iPhone component. The Cupertino company has been diversifying its supply chain in recent years and ensuring that it has multiple suppliers for key iPhone components so as to avoid any bottlenecks in production.
If LG Display does end up supplying OLED panels to Apple for the 2018 iPhones, we will likely see the company improve its yield and supply a higher number of OLED panels to Apple for its 2019 iPhones.[Via Korea Times]