LG to Supply 20 Million Additional OLED Display Panels for iPhone 12 Lineup

A new report says that the supply of Apple’s iPhone 12 panels “heralds a new era of competition in OLED.”

Apple is expected to use OLED screens across its entire iPhone 12 lineup this year. The company has been sourcing OLED panels primarily from Samsung over the last few years, but this time around, it has increased its reliance on LG Display.

According to a new report from Nikkei, most of the additional demand for OLED panels from Apple will be fulfilled by LG Display. The struggling display maker is expected to supply Apple with 20 million OLED panels this year, up five times from its total order quantity last year.

“We plan for our dedicated smartphone OLED panel factory in Paju to operate at full capacity,” said Suh Dong-hee, LG Display’s chief financial officer.

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.

LG’s arrival heralds a new era of competition in OLED, the start of a battle for market share like the one that has prevailed in older liquid crystal displays.

“In the panel industry, those with deep pockets hold sway. Samsung has built a massive war chest through its semiconductor business, while BOE enjoys support from the Chinese government. It remains to be seen whether LG Display can keep up in the research and development race,” the report concludes.