LG Innotek will begin mass production of flexible printed circuit boards in 2018, with supply chain sources stating that the supplier aims to become one of the main FPCB manufacturers for the "iPhone 9" (via The Korea Economic Daily).
The sources said that LG Innotek is nearing the completion of development on its first FPCB run, and will "likely" break ground for FPCB-focused facilities in the second half of 2017. The supplier is focusing on becoming a main FPCB component maker for Apple and LG Electronics, and would enter into the field currently dominated by Samsung and its production on FPCB components for the 2017 iPhone 8.
LG Innotek is set to kick-start the mass production of flexible printed circuit boards for smartphones from next year. With this move to become a flexible PCB supplier for Apple's iPhone, LG Innotek would pose a challenge to Samsung Electro-Mechanics which has already accumulated know-how in this area.
According to industry sources on June 25, LG Innotek has almost completed the development of flexible PCBs and would likely to break the ground for related facilities in the latter half of this year. LG Innotek aims to become a main flexible PCB supplier for Apple and LG Electronics.
With Apple's move to an OLED display in the iPhone 8 this year, the company had to source flexible PCBs because existing PCBs were incompatible with the new flexible OLED screen. Although early rumors pointed towards a display with a curved edges around the sides of the iPhone, it's now expected that the iPhone 8 will have the same slightly curved 2.5D display of the iPhone 7.
The supply chain report today is the second story in the past few weeks that has already begun looking towards next year and the so-called "iPhone 9" that is expected to launch fall 2018. In May, sources knowledgeable of Apple's and Samsung's iPhone 9 supply chain talks said that the 2018 smartphone will launch in two OLED screen sizes: 5.28-inch and 6.46-inch.