Apple ordering five times more OLED screens from LG to diversify iPhone supplies
LG Display is reportedly benefiting from a considerably higher number of OLED panel orders from Apple this year, in a move that may help the iPhone maker reduce its reliance on Samsung for displays in its supply chain for the "iPhone 12"
Apple's long-term suppliers of OLED panels have been Samsung and LG Display, with the former typically providing the majority of display panels used in iPhones. In what appears to be an attempt to diversify the supply of its displays, Apple is reportedly increasing its order for OLED panels from LG Display.
According to sources of Nikkei Asian Review, LG Display has secured orders from Apple totaling 20 million OLED panels for 2020. The source added this would be a major step up from 2019, with the 2020 figure being five times the volume.
The increase in orders hasn't majorly harmed Samsung, the main iPhone OLED supplier, as its order volume for 2020 has allegedly continued to rise slightly to 60 million units. The smaller increase for Samsung is likely due to the increase in LG orders, and though it may be viewed as a negative for the company, it is still securing more panel orders than in the previous year at least.
Nikkei seemingly confirms a report from May which claimed LG Display would provide up to 20 million OLED panels for the "iPhone 12 Max." That same report put Samsung's display orders at 55 million units.
The diversification follows after Apple had to pay Samsung an estimated $950 million as a financial penalty for not buying enough OLED panels from Samsung to meet a contracted minimum figure. Moving to order more from LG Display may be a good move, as purchase agreements to secure Apple the lowest price possible may cause more harm in the long run for the iPhone maker.
Rumors of Apple's diversification of the OLED supply chain have circulated for months, with it said to have been looking at major Chinese display producer BOE for some time. Despite allegedly collaborating with GIS on panels for an iPhone 12 and claims it was investing in production lines, BOE reportedly failed to meet Apple's quality assurance checks sufficiently to become an iPhone display supplier.