What you need to know
- A new report says that Apple's iPhone 12 display supply will help usher a new era of competition in the OLED market.
- Previously, Samsung has dominated the supply of OLED panels.
- LG will supply 20 million panels this year, five times more than last year.
A new report says that the supply of Apple's iPhone 12 panels "heralds a new era of competition in OLED."
A new Nikkei Asian Review report notes how LG is looking to Apple to help "chip away" at Samsung's dominance of the OLED panel market. From the report:
As such, LG CFO Suh Dong-Lee seems confident LG's finances will improve in the second half of 2020. As noted, LG has recorded six consecutive quarterly operating losses, so is in desperate need of a change in fortune. As Nikkei notes, Samsung has previously supplied the majority of OLED panels for iPhone, however, its order number rose only slightly to around 60 million units for this year. Currently, in the small and midsize OLED panel market, Samsung holds a market share of more than 80%.
One noted reason behind the shift from Apple to a more diverse OLED supply pool is steep charges it incurred to Samsung earlier this year after it failed to meet its obligated target of panel purchases, likely driven by lower-than-expected iPhone sales. The $950 million payment was enough to turn Samsung Display's Q2 from a loss-making to a money-making quarter.
As one consultant notes, such an arrangement between the two is only possible because of Samsung's "virtual monopoly on OLED supplies". Apple reportedly tried to increase its reliance on LG last year, but the company couldn't deliver:
Clearly, given the mammoth payments made to Samsung both this year and the year before, it is certainly in Apple's best interests to try and restore some balance to OLED manufacturing and supply in smartphones. To this end, Apple is also reportedly tapping Chinese supplier BOE for OLED supply in next year's iPhone.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
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