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Taiwan's Panel Industry Predicts that Apple will Produce up to 270 Million iPhone Display Panels in 2018



Apple is expected to procure a total of 250-270 million flat panels for the production of iPhone devices in 2018, accord to sources from Taiwan's panel industry. Over the last 4 quarters (01, 02, 03 & 04) Apple sold over 243 million iPhones.


Apple's purchases of OLED panels in 2018 will reach 110-130 million units, including 70-80 million 5.9-inch units for the current iPhone X and an upgraded version of the same size. The remaining will be 40-50 million 6.5-inch OLED panels for the production of a less expensive model, said the sources.


Apple will also take up a total of 60-70 million 6.1-inch all-screen LTPS panels for another new iPhone model to be released in fall 2018, as well as 60-70 million LTPS panels in 4-, 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes for the production of iPhone 8 devices, iPhone SE and iPhone 7, indicated the sources.


Samsung Display will continue to serve as the primary supplier of OLED panels to Apple, according to IHS Markit. However, LG Display will strive to become the second supplier in the second half of 2018, aiming to secure orders for the new 6.5-inch OLED model to be launched this fall.


Digitimes sources added that it's expected that Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display will be the main suppliers of LTPS panels to Apple in 2018. 


On one hand Apple will have more iPhone models this year and at lower price points. This is likely to have Apple reach the 270 mark or higher. On the other hand, if the replacement battery program is taken advantage of by more than expected, Apple may hit the lower end of the prediction or dip lower. In the end, it's a little early for predictions, so it's hard to take the forecast too seriously at the moment. But at least it's a marker to keep in mind this time next year.


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