Samsung may soon not be the only supplier of OLED displays for Apple as the Cupertino-based tech company has reportedly invested $2.70 billion in LG for the production of OLED panels for its iPhones. According to a report in The Investor on Sunday, Apple will reportedly make the investment as advance payment for the planned panel supplies from the Korean display maker. “With the latest funding, LG Display’s OLED production will reach 45,000 units of the sixth-generation OLED panel monthly. Of the total, Apple orders are likely to make up at least 30,000 units,” the report quoted unnamed sources as saying.
There is no official word about the deal yet from either Apple or LG. The iPhone maker still relies on Samsung for the OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 8. According to the report, LG would supply 45,000 OLED panels per month to Apple for iPhones in 2019. It was presumed that Samsung would be an exclusive supplier of OLED displays for Apple’s iPhones but this deal has served as a blow to the Galaxy S8 maker. “With the renewed partnership with LG, its long-time LCD partner, Apple has secured a secondary supplier for the crucial OLED panel, while the Korean partner can reduce risks from the huge initial spending on beefing up its OLED production,” the report said.
It is believed that Apple will switch to OLED displays for all of its iPhone releases in 2019. This is the reason Apple roped in LG to be its OLED display supplier when it already had Samsung — that owns 95 per cent market share of mobile OLED panels — in its league. It is not just Apple that is investing in LG OLED display but Google has also realised LG’s potential and invested $900 million in OLED production for its first OLED smartphone.