Saturday, January 2, 2016

LG Display, Samsung Display to supply OLED screens for iPhones


Apple’s iPhone OLED – Samsung/LG

Taking into consideration the increasing number of rumours claiming that iPhones would soon be integrating OLED display technology, a report from South Korea states that Apple will be soon finalizing a supply agreement which will see Samsung as well as LG Display with the necessary panels in the upcoming handsets.

Quoting unnamed industry sources, the Electronic Times the local Korea times recently reported that Apple would be reaching a decisive supply agreement with the display arms of Samsung and LG and both of them will have experience in creating flexible OLED panels. OLED products for Apple Watch have already been supplied by LG and it is rumoured to be the exclusive supplier for the next gen wearable for Apple.

It is said that the two Korean companies would be injecting around 15 trillion won, around $12.8 billion, by way of capital expenditures for the next two to three years in order to build out production facilities with the potential of churning out OLED panels in adequate numbers to meet the traditionally robust iPhone demand. Apple would be supporting with the equipment costs, though the report did not offer any specifics.

From LCDs to OLEDs

LG intending to repurpose the prevailing LCD production lineto reduce cost, is apparently focusing on moving from a present 4.5G manufacturing process to a sixth generation method though the production yields are in query since the technology is yet untried. Samsung also presumed to be supplying Apple Watch OLEDs, figures in the equation and is expected to net 30% less orders than LG.

Negotiations had been drawn out in part, according to sources, since Apple drove a hard bargain to drive Samsung in accepting the low single digit margins on its sale of OLEDs. For a long time it was rumoured that Apple intended to switch away from LCDs to OLED modules for its flagship smartphones and the speculation grew more urgent when competitor Samsung had adopted the display tech.

The iPhone makers as usual took a stand of wait and see approach and this year introduced the first OLED product in its Apple Watch. A rumour in June, mentioned that Apple had been looking in adopting flexible OLED displays in 2018, a timeframe which tends to fit in appropriately with today’s report.

OLED Screens – Thinner/Improved Image Quality

Last month, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper had reported that Apple plans to begin utilising OLED screens for its iPhone beginning in 2018.OLED screens seem to be thinner and provide improved image quality than the mainstay liquid crystal display screens.

Both the companies are close to a final agreement with Apple for the screens but have declined to comment on the same. According to the paper, Samsung Display that is currently supplying OLED smartphone panels to it parent Samsung Electronics and Chinese vendors is possibly getting a larger volume from Apple than LG Display.

 Apply could also be working on new screen technology at a secret laboratoryin Taiwan, indicating that it may switch to an improved LCD panel before introducing the OLED in the future or it could be a backup if the OLED deal may not materialise.

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