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Apple supplier LG Display spends another $1.75B on flexible OLED production

LG Display on Wednesday announced plans to spend 1.99 trillion won —about $1.75 billion —on a new flexible OLED production line, which could potentially help the company vie for Apple iPhone orders.

A 2017 iPhone mockup.

A 2017 iPhone mockup.


The sixth-generation production line in Paju, South Korea is being explicitly developed with mobile devices in mind, LG said. The company has already spent 500 billion won ($440.7 million) on infrastructure, though it doesn't expect to start mass production until the second half of 2018.

LG is beginning to pivot more heavily toward mobile OLED technology, having recently admitted that it was late in making the switch. The company already has one flexible OLED line in Paju, but is still building out other facilities in both Paju and Gumi.

Apple is expected to make the switch to OLED iPhone displays as soon as next year, which would be too soon for LG to make a meaningful contribution. Its rival, Samsung, is rumored to be in exclusive talks with Apple, but LG could have enough production capacity by the middle of 2018 to become a secondary OLED supplier.

The 2017 iPhone's display may use not just OLED but an edge-to-edge design, incorporating Touch ID and camera components.