Apple approves the use of OLED deposition machines from Korea's Sunic System for manufacturing future iPad and MacBook displays
A new supply chain report claims that Apple has recently approved the use of a Gen 8 OLED deposition machine developed by S. Korea's Sunic System whose customers include Apple's display suppliers LG and Samsung Display.
OLED deposition machines are used to deposit the organic materials onto the panel during OLED panel production. The organic materials are vaporized and deposited onto the panel substrate.
LG Display has been developing a machine dedicated to Gen 8 OLED substrate since 2021 and could use Sunic’s when it starts building Gen 8 production facilities.
Apple is planning to use OLED panels in its iPads launching next year and display panel makers had responded to this by collaborating with equipment makers such as Canon Tokki and Sunic System to develop a deposition machine dedicated to Gen 8 (2200x2500mm) substrates, rather than Gen 6 substrates (1500x1850mm) as before, as a larger substrate is economically more viable for them to make larger panels such as those used in tablets as compared to smartphones.
The Elec's report further noted that with Apple's approval, the display makers will save tremendously in costs. Sources said Sunic System’s machine was up to 40% cheaper compared to those made by Canon Tokki.
While the savings could be great for both LG and Samsung Display, the cost of new equipment has been put on hold while the economy sputters. Whether this could delay Apple's OLED plans for next-gen iPad and MacBooks is unknown at this time.
In a second report by The Elec, they note that shipments of OLED panels for IT products such as notebooks and tablets is expected to double next year thanks to Apple launching related products, according to analyst firm Omdia.
Last year, 470 million units of display panels for IT products were shipped; out of these, only 9.1 million units, or 2%, were OLED panels.
Apple is expected to launch two iPad models next year that uses OLED panels. This means shipment for IT OLED panels that will reach 12.9 million units this year will double to 25.4 million units in 2024, according to Omdia.
This is expected to continue to grow with Apple’s wider adoption of OLED panels for its tablets and notebooks with shipment reaching 74.3 million units in 2028, or 14% of the total, according to the analyst firm.