Apple Pressing LG to Add OLED Display Production for 2018 iPhone, Limiting Samsung's Leverage

Amid reports Apple is investing billions of dollars to help LG begin production of OLED displays for future iPhones, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report sharing his take on the situation.


According to Kuo, the OLED display panel for this year's "iPhone 8" has been the "single most troublesome component for Apple in terms of bargaining power," as Samsung is currently the only company with design and production capabilities to make the displays. To counter Samsung's advantage, Apple is working hard to support LG's efforts to ramp up similar expertise and capabilities.

We think Apple is therefore committed to having LGD geared up for its OLED iPhone display business in 2018 as it seeks to reduce supply risks. Even though LGD may likely start off with minimal initial penetration in 2018 (we estimate no more than 4-6%), the effort, with the full commitment of both Apple and LGD, will help LGD mature during the process and steadily gain supply share from 2019 onward. This will in turn continuously boost Apple’s bargaining power on OLED prices.

Kuo predicts LG will capture 10–20 percent of iPhone OLED display production in 2019 and up to 20–30 percent in 2020, helping to diversify Apple's sourcing and limit Samsung's leverage.

While LG will have expertise at production of the display panels themselves, Kuo predicts Foxconn subsidiary General Interface Solution (GIS) will be brought on board to assist with lamination processes. GIS would also offer expertise in production troubleshooting and vertical integration with Foxconn, so it would be an ideal partner for accelerating LG's growth in Apple's display supply chain.

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago

I Doubt it. I don't for see the MacBook line ever having an OLED display. If anything, in the mere future, we might see micro LED make its debut at some point. It's still in development and I'm thinking if Apple decides to use a different display, micro LED would be the next step if the technology is mature enough at that point.

You don't follow things here close enough...
https://www.macrumors.com/2016/11/01/future-macbooks-oled-displays/
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
It will be good for Apple to catch up in this area finally. Some of us have been using OLED for 7 years now.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago

Pretty slim based on the 7 years it has taken them to put OLED into a phone after Samsung did it with the S2.

Yeah but those displays sucked BAD real bad.

OLED always had some advantages to LCD but it was HORRIBLE when it came to color accuracy, which was OK because it was relatively young tech.

They caught up about 2 years ago and are now very competitive if not better in some instances (if factory calibrated).

So... Apple is not that late on this, I'm happy they waited those months, because I need accurate colors on my displays.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago

Pretty slim based on the 7 years it has taken them to put OLED into a phone after Samsung did it with the S2.

Personally, I don't expect to see mLED in Apple products for at least another 7-10 years, and they could go the way of Nokia and Blackberry by then if they keep adopting new features years after their competitors.

That's what really separates Apple from these other companies. Apple does not usually put immature technology on their products, while others rush to be first and make their products suck. Apple tend to wait until technology is mature enough for their standards Good for them. That's one of the reasons I stick with Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
Apple probably wants OLED for the MacBooks as well.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
I have an LG OLED TV and am very happy with it. IF they can bring anything like that to their phone displays they will look great.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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