While we've known for about a year now that Samsung Display would be the exclusive OLED supplier for Apple's iPhone 8, we're now learning that other South Korean firms have won important contracts for this year's iPhone 8 as well.
Apple usual course of business is to diversify suppliers for all key parts for the iPhone but for the first OLED iPhone some Korean suppliers are expected to provide the parts solely due to their technological sophistication.
Because Apple is still less experienced in OLED, Samsung Display is said to be playing a key role in the overall supply chain management that consists of its own key parts suppliers.
Samsung's non-memory chip unit System LSI will supply display driver IC, the display chip for the OLED screen, while STEMCO and LG Innotek will provide the chip on films that connect it to the printed circuit board.
The flexible printed circuit board will be provided by Interflex, BH and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
Samsung's System LSI is estimated to earn about 480 billion won (US$422 million) from the display driver IC supply to Apple. Considering the unit price of about US$5, about 80 million OLED iPhones are expected to be rolled out this year.
One of the publication's industry sources stated that "Apple will seek to diversify suppliers for the OLED model but Samsung Display and its key suppliers will dominate the supply chain for some time." Lastly, the report noted that for other key parts, Samsung Electronics and SK hynix will supply memory chips, while LG Innotek will supply camera modules.
As a side note, SK hynix is also in the bidding for Toshiba to strengthen their business with Apple. Toshiba will announce the winning bid sometime in June.
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