LG Display investing $13.5 billion to boost output of OLEDs

Major Apple supplier LG Display is reportedly investing a whopping $13.5 billion over the next three years in order to boost output of OLED panels for TVs and smartphones, which Apple is widely expected to adopt for this year’s premium iPhone 8 model.

According to Reuters today, the Korean company, the leader in large-screen OLED television displays, is aiming to “make inroads against rival Samsung in smartphone displays.”

Around five trillion won is earmarked for a new production line for flexible OLEDs aimed at bolstering LG’s position in auto displays and smartphones. An additional 2.8 trillion won will go toward a separate new production facility for large-size OLED screens.

Both production lines will be located in Paju, northwest of Seoul.

Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics, has a 90+ percent share in the market for OLED smartphone screens. OLED technology provides thinner screens that have better image and consume less power that the mainstay LCD screens used on all iPhones to date.

However, LG may be unable to single-handedly build a lot of OLED production lines. Heungkuk Securities analyst Lee Min-hee said Apple could receive additional investment from Apple.

The Korean Herald recently learned that the Cupertino giant could be pouring big money into LG Display’s new “E6” OLED plant, which should be exclusively devoted to iPhone 8 orders.

According to yesterday’s Chinese-language Commercial Times report, citing supply chain sources, Apple has purchased equipment to set up a research and development facility in Taiwan to develop its own OLED technology in order to reduce its dependence on Samsung.

Image: a foldable OLED panel from LG Display