OLED panel makers are boosting their efforts to compete for orders for iPhone screens from Apple this year, according to DigiTimes.
The report comes as rumors suggest Apple will release a couple of OLED display iPhone models this year.
Sharp, which was acquired by iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group, and Japan Display (JPI) are reportedly vying to get orders from the Cupertino company. Sharp will likely come ahead of Japan Display, and could churn out OLED panels as early as this year’s second quarter, the report said. Sharp is also looking to use the OLED screens on some of its own premium mobile devices in 2018.
The report also said LG Display has a high chance of becoming the second biggest OLED panel supplier for Apple this year. The move could lower Apple’s dependence from Samsung, which provided OLED displays for the iPhone X.
Meanwhile, a report earlier this month said LG will supply 15 million to 16 million OLED panels for the 2018 iPhone lineup. LG, which already supplies LCD panels for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, is said to be negotiating with Apple to boost OLED orders. LG Display has also been gearing up for OLED production. The company recently received approval from South Korean officials to build its first OLED production facility in China. LG had previously announced last summer that it was looking to build an OLED production plant in Guangzhou, China.
While the use of LG Display OLED panels could mean Apple is cutting its dependence on Samsung, it might also be a move to meet demand this year. Apple is expected to release two new iPhone models with OLED screens this year, compared to the sole iPhone X OLED model released last year. LG will reportedly supply OLED panels for the rumored 2018 6.5-inch model, while Samsung will focus on the 5.8-inch or 6-inch OLED displays. Besides the two OLED models, Apple is also expected to release a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone this fall.
As for Samsung orders, a report last year said Apple had signed a deal with the company for OLED panels for this year’s iPhones. The Korean company will reportedly supply Apple between 180 to 200 million OLED panels for its 2018 iPhones. This year’s request is bigger than last year’s 50 million OLED panel order.
While companies vie for Apple orders this year, they might get requests from the iPhone company in the future. Apple is reportedly planning to use OLED displays on all new models released from mid-2018 and on. However, that report doesn’t coincide with rumors of an LCD model this year.
Besides the OLED display, this year’s iPhones are expected to come with other features that are available on the iPhone X. The 2018 models are rumored to come with the TrueDepth camera, which supports the Face ID and Animoji. Apple is also expected to boost the battery size of this year’s iPhones. The 5.8-inch model could have a battery capacity between 2,900mAh and 3,000mAh, higher than the current 2,716mAh battery.