Even after iPhone X, Samsung’s OLED business is seeing 'slow demand'

iPhone X

Samsung’s latest earnings report sheds some interesting light on the state of OLED display adoption across the tech industry, with a special focus on what it could mean for the general success of the iPhone X and its successor.

While LG is reportedly scrambling to get its OLED manufacturing situation in order, Samsung seems to be so flush with supply that it’s twiddling its thumbs, so to speak, as its display business grew just 3.4% this quarter while, as a whole, the greater operation grew a whopping 20%. 

The culprit for the lagging growth in the display market? The report pins it on a “slow demand for flexible OLED panels.” The lion’s share of Samsung-made OLED displays go to its own phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and looking forward, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. But it also is the main supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone X, and likely the iPhone X2.

How Apple can turn this into a win

There has been plenty of speculation on the topic of the iPhone X’s less-than-stellar sales performance since it launched in late 2017. Despite being what we think is the best phone that Apple has created yet, analyst reporting that it may leave the production line and that it was outsold by the rather iterative iPhone 8 can’t be ignored.

While none of this is confirmed by Apple, as 9To5Mac affirms that the company won’t break down sales figures on a per-phone basis, news that Samsung is prepped for the next wave of OLED-touting iPhones is nothing but good news for customers.

More supply and the thirst for growth on Samsung’s part may lead to a drop in prices – something the iPhone X desperately needed to not just appeal to the mass market, but to sell to them, too. Though Apple will likely be feeding Samsung more money that it would like to for its OLED displays, releasing a cheaper iPhone with OLED tech could reverse Apple’s fortune by putting equal, if not greater, pressure on Samsung’s own devices.

  • We may also see a iPhone 9 arrive this year
Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.