Samsung Will be Apple’s Sole OLED Supplier – At First

We have covered the ‘OLED iPhone’ rumour several times in recent months, and now Bloomberg is back with new claims about Samsung’s links to Apple.

According to sources, Samsung will be the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for Apple’s 2017 iPhone – at least initially. In order to cope with this new demand, though, the firm will need to invest in capacity upgrades. Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper says that that investment could cost the firm as much as KRW10 trillion ($8.7 billion).

For context, remember that Apple sold about 231 million iPhones last year, while Samsung Display manufactured around 3 million screens per month – far short of Apple’s demand.

In 2018, Apple will seek to bring more OLED suppliers on board, says Patently Apple. The second supplier is likely to be LG Display. A new report indicates that LGD is to make an investment in flexible OLED capacity in Q2 this year. It aims to be mass-producing flexible OLEDs by the first half of 2017.

Japan’s Tokki produces organic deposition equipment necessary to produce OLEDs, but – says Patently Apple – Samsung filled Tokkis order books late last year, effectively locking LG out of ramping production. However, the firm has apparently been able to secure at least partial order fulfilment. LGD should be able to produce displays for Apple in mid-2018 or 2019.