Apple is reportedly struggling to find a suitable OLED supplier – that isn't Samsung – for its new iPhone models rumored to launch later this year with 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch displays.
Its rival Samsung has supplied the screen tech for the iPhone X, but Apple’s effort to diversify its partnership with LG, which the company has purportedly invested $3 billion into, is said to not be working out too well.
While it’s not exactly clear what the problem is, LG’s production of OLED screens has hit a snag and may not to recover in time to meet the gargantuan demand for Apple’s 2018 phones.
Can LG prove itself?
Despite LG’s OLED technology cropping up in some big places last year, namely the Google Pixel 2 XL and the company’s own LG V30, opinions were mixed on their quality. Moreso on the former than the latter, many felt that they paled in comparison to what Samsung can produce.
Interestingly, Apple has ordered LG’s display division to work on a third round of OLED prototypes, something that most suppliers aren’t asked to do, according to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab). If it pans out for LG, a supply chain analyst stated that it could contribute as much as 20% of the OLED screens that go into Apple’s new iPhones, while Samsung would pick up the other 80%.
This report states that Samsung’s OLED display is the most costly component found in the iPhone X, costing $97 of the estimated $376 that Apple spends on each unit. But if it can move more of its business to LG, it could eventually drive down costs on future iPhones, resulting in a cheaper product on the shelf.
But of course, that relies on whether LG has what it takes to hang with Samsung’s apparent manufacturing prowess.
Via The Verge (opens in new tab)