LG will join Samsung as an OLED supplier in 2019.
Apple’s intention to diversify its OLED display supply chain involves LG. A rumor has it that the Cupertino-based giant is supporting LG by investing $2.7 billion as an advance payment for OLED displays which should be delivered by 2019. Apple’s only supplier of iPhone X OLED displays in 2017 is Samsung Display, which may result in a significant increase of the price of the handsets compared to the previous generations with LCD. Earlier rumors have suggested that iPhone X may cost more than $1000 depending on the configuration.
Bloomberg has published a new report claiming that LC is expected to reach full production capacity in 2019, even though the first deliveries could happen in late 2018 in small batches. But diversifying the OLED supply chain in the near term would allow Apple to be less dependent than Samsung, and negotiate a better price.
Based on the new information we can conclude that Apple will rely on Samusng as a sole supplier for display panels for all iPhone X this year, and most of the iPhones in 2018.
LG currently produces only OLED panels for Apple Watch, whose demand is significantly less than any iPhone on the market.