Apple and LG Said to Discuss OLED Deal For Supplies Starting 2019

Apple and LG Said to Discuss OLED Deal For Supplies Starting 2019

Apple will have to wait until at least 2019 to be able to move beyond Samsung for significant alternative supplies of next-generation, organic light-emitting diode screens for iPhones, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

LG, a long-time supplier of liquid crystal displays for existing iPhone models, is targeting full-fledged shipments of OLED screens in 2019, with only small shipments possible towards the end of next year, the people said. LG is still negotiating the size of upfront payments and details, though talks are in the final stages, said one of the people.

Apple has been aiming to adopt OLED technology because of its vibrant colors and lower energy consumption, but has been hampered by limited availability. Samsung, its primary competitor in smartphones, is the dominant manufacturer of OLED screens and has used the technology in its own phones as well as selling it to Apple rivals.

LG has been in discussions with Apple to supply OLED technology as quickly as possible, but it’s come across multiple challenges, the people said. Securing evaporation machines, a key tool in churning out the displays, has been difficult, after Samsung’s display arm beat LG to booking several units, or years of orders, from supplier Canon Tokki. Though LG finally managed to secure these machines this year for installation, it has to scramble to get the production yield sufficiently up to meet Apple’s requirements.

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