Samsung and LG invest US$11.6 Billion in Flexible OLEDs to Secure Orders for Apple's iPhone 8 and beyond
LG Display and Samsung Display will be investing US$11.6 billion in flexible OLEDs this year alone to win new orders for the iPhone from Apple. Analysis says that their investment volume combined is a record high and the two global panel giants began a "do or die" fight over the flexible OLED leadership.
According to the OLED industry on October 30, Samsung Display accounting for 95% of the world small and mid-sized OLED market will make additional investment of US$4.47 billion in OLEDs in the fourth quarter of this year alone raising their investment to 9.7 billion for 2016. LG is on schedule to spend aproximately US$4.5 billion.
Samsung Display is currently dominating the small and mid-sized OLED market and LG Display in pursuit of Samsung Display have decided to concentrate their investments on flexible OLEDs as they are taking into account Apple's new orders for the next iPhone.
Apple is planning to adopt flexible OLEDs beginning from iPhone 8 that will hit shelves in the second half of next year apart from retina LCD displays. In particular, the display industry forecasts that beginning in 2018, OLED panels will exceed the half of total panels for the iPhone.
The iPhone is the best selling premium smartphone model in the world with Samsung's Galaxy being the second best seller. Even if half of all iPhone models use OLED panels, Apple will need to order about 100 million OLED panels a year. It is said that this reason why Samsung Display has an exclusive to supply Apple with the OLEDs for the next year's iPhone 8.
This is why Samsung Display will expand the production capacity of its A3 Line to 70,000 units a month by the end of the first half of next year from 15,000 units a month now. 70,000 units a month equal about 170 million 5.5-inch panels a year.
LG Display will be able to mass-produce flexible OLEDs in the first half of next year when E5 Line in Gumi will enter its operation phase. It is said that at the moment, LG Display is having a tug of war over the supply of OLED panels for Apple's iPhone SE model.
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