LG Reportedly Supplying OLED Panels for Rumored 6.5-inch iPhone

Apple is reportedly set to add another OLED display producer for the iPhone, helping Apple reduce its reliance on current OLED manufacturer Samsung.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, South Korea’s LG Display will initially supply between 2 million and 4 million units, small relative to Apple’s sales, as it continues to work on ramping up capacity.

The move is an important step in the Cupertino company’s push to reduce manufacturing costs for its flagship smartphone and its dependence on Samsung. The expense of using Samsung to supply OLED screens has been linked to the iPhone X’s $1,000 USD starting price and its lower-than-expected sales.

“Securing a second supplier for OLED screens is crucial for Apple as it will allow the company to reduce its reliance on Samsung, which is currently the sole supplier,” said Jerry Kang, a senior principal analyst at IHS Markit. “At the same time, it will help accelerate a broad adoption of OLED screens. More suppliers means more volume, and in turn, lower pricing.”

In April, it was reported that LG was struggling to manufacture the screens since it previously only worked on OLED tech for televisions, and Apple was reconsidering the partnership.

According to the report, the first LG OLED screens will be used in the rumored 6.5-inch iPhone slated for release this year.

While production of the OLED panels started at LG, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ready to be used on iPhones. There are two different approvals that must be given before this happens, and the first of them is due in July. On the other hand, there are bigger chances for LG to play a more important role in the supplying of OLED screens for the 2019 iPhone generation.

Apple is rumored to launch new model iPhones in September, with two new OLED options and another with a less costly liquid crystal display (LCD) display. The cheaper model is expected to outsell the OLED options.