LG’s display-making arm is said to be gearing up to kick off volume production of foldable displays for future iPhones, said Korean news outlet ETNews. In addition to Apple, LG Display should supply foldable displays to Google and Microsoft in 2018. LG-developed foldable display prototypes were of sufficient quality for the company to secure global manufacturers as its partners.
LG Display, one of the Asian companies that provide screens for Apple products, yesterday announced plans to spend an additional 1.99 trillion won, or about $1.75 billion, on its sixth-generation “P9” flexible OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) production line in Paju. More OLED facilities are coming soon in Paju and Gumi, LG said.
LG Display will jack up investment on next-generation mobile screens based on Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology as its top customer Apple Inc. prepares to adopt these ultra-thin, power-saving screens for iPhones “as early as 2017,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Multiple sources have been adamant over the course of past few months that Apple and its Asian suppliers have been making preparations to produce tens of millions of OLED panels for use in future iPhones.
Tuesday, Taiwan-based DigiTimes said, citing a report by Korea-based ET News, that LG Display, the lone supplier of flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch, has begun ramping up curved OLED production amid rumors of the Apple OLED switch.
A report Wednesday by ET News contends that Apple is “close” to signing a definitive supply agreement with both Samsung Display and LG Display concerning OLED screens for future iPhones.
Although iOS devices have used ubiquitous liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels since their inception, organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology features deeper blacks and requires less power because it doesn’t need a power-hungry backlight module to illuminate the pixels.
LG Display, which supplies Apple with flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch and LCD panels for other gadgets, is reportedly building a brand new facility that will significantly increase its OLED panel production as the firm looks to meet expected market demand as of 2017 onwards, according to a report from Korea’s Digital Times cited by DigiTimes.
The new plant will cost north of $4 billion to build, with assembly lines expected to start churning out OLED panels for smartphones, tablets and TVs sometime between 2017-2018.
One Apple supplier’s misery is another Apple supplier’s fortune. Two of Apple’s key display suppliers — Sharp and LG Display — are not enjoying quite the same positive effects from working with the Cupertino firm. At one end of the spectrum is LG Display, an exclusive supplier of flexible OLED panels for the Apple Watch.
The company now dominates the smartwatch display market with a ninety percent market share thanks to its lucrative contract with Apple, as per Business Korea.
On the other is Japan-based Sharp, one of Apple’s display suppliers that has barely managed to avoid collapse after posting an annual net loss of a whopping $1.9 billion, according to The Financial Times on Thursday.
Boy, is LG Display on a roll today. Not only has the company’s website inadvertently pre-announced a supposedly upcoming iMac refresh featuring an 8K resolution Retina screen, but a well-informed LG Display related official ostensibly said Apple is also “creating iPads with a 12-inch display,” based on a very power-efficient oxide LCD screen technology, Taiwanese publication ETNews reported Monday.
Oxide LCD, also known as IGZO, requires a fraction of power compared to LCD IPS screens on current iPads, while rendering more vibrant colors and deeper blacks with quick response times and high color saturation.
In a somewhat bizarre move, Apple supplier LG Display may have inadvertently leaked Apple’s unannounced iMac whopping an 8K Retina screen, writing on its website last week that, I’m quoting, “Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year”.
Apple, of course, has not publicly announced plans for a new iMac update. LG Display is Apple’s important supplier of desktop and mobile screens and the Cupertino company is known to have cut off suppliers who pre-announced its products. Neither LG nor Apple commented on the matter at post time.