Apple has placed an order with LG Display for OLED and LCD display panels, a report claims, with the South Korean firm said to be providing screens that will be used in the 2018 iPhone refresh this fall, alongside existing display provider Samsung.
The order consists of between 3 and 4 million OLED panels, Digitimes reports, with the contract also including an order for approximately 20 million LCD smartphone panels. Recent rumors about the agreement put the OLED display order in the ballpark of 3 to 5 million panels.
The OLED panels in question will be produced in LG Display's E6 6G fabrication plant in Paju, South Korea. The report adds that, as the yield rate for the facility improves, it is likely that LG Display will secure the majority of 6.5-inch OLED panel orders from Apple in 2019. If secured, this would help increase the firm's OLED panel shipments to 10 million units per annum.
LG's supply of OLED panels for this year's iPhone means it will be encroaching on Samsung's turf, but only by a small amount. Samsung has a far higher OLED production capacity than LG, to the level that is believed Samsung was assigned an initial order of 110 million panels for the iPhone X.
While the order for OLED iPhone display panels is relatively new for LG, it has been providing LCD panels for quite some time, though it has been slow to move into the OLED market. LG also already provides Apple with AMOLED panels for the Apple Watch, with analysts recently claiming the company took 41.4 percent of the AMOLED smartwatch panel market last year because of its relationship with Apple.
Apple is believed to be working on three new iPhone models for 2018, including 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED versions and a 6.1-inch variant with an edge-to-edge LED screen. While the OLED models are thought to be a refresh of the iPhone and a "Plus" edition, the cheaper LCD panel and restrained specifications may make it the value-oriented proposition of the trio.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that Apple will provide this year's devices in a range of new colors, including black, white, and gold options for the OLED versions, while the LCD model is tipped to be available in gray, white, blue, red, and orange variants.