As business gets underway for 2018, right out of the bat we're learning that LG Display is going to supply its OLED panels to Apple this year for Apple’s upcoming new iPhones. Based on current iPhones, it is going to supply about 15 million to 16 million panels. It is heard that LG Display is currently negotiating with Apple in order to increase amount of its supplies.
LG has been in negotiations with Apple since at least July 2017. Patently Apple posted a report in September titled "LG Could Possibly Enter Apple's OLED Supply Chain as early as H2 2018 if Plans are on Track."
As LG Display has joined Samsung Display as OLED suppliers for iPhones, it is expected that competitions for winning Apple's orders will only become more competitive in the future.
According to industry sources, LG Display tentatively decided to supply its flexible OLED panels to Apple for its new iPhones that will be released during the second half of this year. Amount of its supplies is not much compared to its competitor Samsung Display. However this indicates that its competitive edge in quality of its products has been proved and it is expected that this opportunity will lead to positive performance of its future businesses.
The report further noted that their sources hear that LG Display is going to supply 6.5-inch OLED panels. On the other hand, Samsung Display, which is the primary supplier of OLED panel for Apple, is going to supply 5.8-inch or 6-inch OLED panels.
LG Display is planning to mass-produce OLED panels for Apple from its Gen 6 flexible OLED production line called E6 located in Paju. It is understood that LG Display is going to produce initial supplies by starting initial operation of E6 during the second quarter and fully operate E6 starting from the second half.
LG Display's E6 plant has production capacity of 30,000 units of Gen 6 flexible OLED panel per month. This capacity allows E6 plant to produce 5.94 million units per month if production yield and operation rate are both 100% based on 6-inch OLED panel.
LG Display is going to operate one of the production lines within E6 plant first and then operate the other towards the end of this year. It is likely that it will 2019 when LG Display actually operates full production capacity that will be able to produce 30,000 units per month. Difference between actual amount of supplies and production capacity is huge considering the fact that LG Display does not have much experiences in producing Gen 6 flexible OLED panels and still has low production yield.
LG Display quickly prepared for mass-production so that it will be able to supply Gen 6 OLED panels to Apple starting in Q4 of this year. It has consistently made negotiations with Apple based on its technical skills in OLED and long relationship with Apple that has been established from its LCD business.
In July we posted a report titled "LG is the Official Second OLED Supplier for Apple that will deliver between 32 and 45 Million 6 inch Displays per Annum." LG is hoping to be Apple's second OLED supplier, if not their main supplier as Samsung's contract with Apple comes to an end by after the holidays 2018.
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