Apple might have to wait until 2019 for supply for OLED panels from LG: Bloomberg

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 07 Sep 2017
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Apple was earlier expected to add LG Display as the supplier for next year's iPhone. The company might have to wait for one full cycle before switching from Samsung to LG for the supply of display panels.

Apple might have to wait until 2019 for supply for OLED panels from LG: Bloomberg

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Apple will have to wait until 2019 to receive a full-fledged supply of OLED display panels from LG, reports Bloomberg. It says LG Display will only be able to ramp up the supply of OLED screens in 2019 and shipments towards the end of next year will be restricted to small quantities.

With the launch of the 2017 iPhones on September 12, Apple will be making a switch from LCD to OLED panels for its flagship product. Samsung Display, the leader in OLED screens will be the sole supplier of display panels for this year's OLED iPhone and Apple is said to be exploring options to add LG Display as the second supplier. Bloomberg notes that LG is still negotiating the terms of payment and supply of OLED panels.

With Samsung maintaining over 90 percent share in the flexible OLED display market, LG Display was seen as the viable alternative to major smartphone manufacturers. LG recently announced the V30, its first flagship smartphone with an OLED display. The company has reportedly expanded the manufacturing base of its OLED panels in order to increase the yield, however, it is struggling to scale production due to limited availability of evaporation machines from Canon Tokki.

"It'll be the second half of next year when LG starts test running the production lines for OLED displays for Apple and it usually takes six months for them to move into commercial production," Yi Choong-hoon of UBI Research told Bloomberg.

The report adds that Samsung's has booked several units of these evaporation machines for its display division. LG has also secured the supply of these machines but installation will only happen this year and it is not likely to scale production enough to meet Apple's demand. Apple is anticipated to introduce three new iPhones this year with one of the models getting OLED display and other two retaining LCD displays found on last year's model. Analysts believe that Apple will switch to OLED displays entirely next year. With this report, Apple is now likely to introduce limited quantities of iPhones with LG display or wait one full year to add LG Display as a major supplier.

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Karthekayan Iyer

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