While Samsung remains the world's the dominant supplier of OLED panels and will supply Apple with up to 92 million OLED screens over the next two years, a new report today suggests that Apple is looking to diversify its supply chain by investing $1.75-2.62 billion into LG Display's OLED manufacturing. Specifically, Apple and LG Display are said to be considering a deal that would funnel Apple's investment into LG Display's new "E6" OLED plant, which would be "exclusively dedicated to Apple orders" (via The Korea Herald).
LG Display's production on OLED screens is still far off, with its output for Apple predicted to start sometime in early 2019, which still places Samsung as the reigning supplier of OLED components for Apple over the next few years. No deal between Apple and LG Display is confirmed yet, with the companies having "tentatively" agreed upon the investment plans and more finalized details expected to come later in the month.
Apple is reportedly in talks with LG Display to invest about 2 to 3 trillion won (US$1.75-2.62 billion) into the Korean display maker’s new OLED production lines exclusively dedicated to Apple orders.
“Samsung Display is the only display maker that meets Apple’s strict quality criteria for now,” said an industry source on condition of anonymity. “LG Display is said to be meeting about 70 percent level of the requirements, while Chinese display makers are still struggling to catch up with that of LG.”
For the 2017 line of iPhones, rumors have been pointing towards the "iPhone 8" as having an OLED screen, while the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will include standard LCD panels. The iPhone 8 is believed to include a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge display, glass body, wireless charging, no physical Home button, and potentially 3D sensing features for facial recognition.
A report out of Korea earlier this year stated that Apple aims to make every iPhone with an OLED screen by 2019, which would fall in line with today's report of Apple's and LG Display's deal being eyed for a 2019 production ramp-up on OLED screens.