Reports in January showed that Apple and LG Display for the South Korean company talks about the supply of OLED panels for use in the so-called "iPhone X Plus" led this year's iPhone line , The idea was to diversify Apple's screen offerings and reduce its dependence on rival Samsung Electronics.
But according to a Wall Street Journal story released on Friday, LG "struggles" with the quality of record production, putting Apple's plans in jeopardy. Citing "people familiar with matter," Wall Street Journal reports manufacturing issues, suggesting that LG may not be ready to launch mass production of the iPhone in July. In Apple opinions are shared whether LG Display can make the phones in time for this year's line.
The issue, which wrote Journal is that LG Display specializes in television size OLED panels, of which it is the world leader, although the company "the production of screen sizes in the Smartphone format not yet recorded ".
Reports from 201
Apple is in an unfavorable bargaining position in dealing with just one provider for the OLED screens, which are among the more expensive parts of high-end iPhones. To make matters worse, Samsung, the supplier, is also Apple's main competitor in the smartphone sector. Meanwhile, LG Display, also based in South Korea, itself a major competitor to Samsung.
According to analysts consensus, Apple will produce an estimated 100 million iPhones this year, about half of them with OLED screens.
A History of Panels
When Apple began producing the iPhone X in 2017, it quickly became apparent that Samsung was the only company that could mass-produce OLED panels in the size required for the device. Producing OLED screens is much more difficult as a single speck of dust can destroy the entire screen during manufacture. Samsung has long used OLED screens on its own Galaxy devices.
In addition, OLED production for TV panels is a mature process that has existed for years. Using the technology on a smaller scale and optimizing for a touch screen is much more complicated and difficult.
Apple and Samsung reached 2016 for the first time an OLED panel deal. But by the end of 2017, even before the iPhone X was even launched, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities wrote that Apple was "urgently" relying on a second source of OLED panels.
Apple's deal with LG, announced in December 2017, should mitigate this need and should give the iPhone maker more leverage to negotiate costs, but whether it is actually timely in question.