Apple may take OLED panel production in own hands to reduce reliance on Samsung


Although Samsung has been widely suggested to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone 8, Apple is actively working toward reducing its reliance on supply from the Korea-based tech giant.

According to a new report by Korean publication ET News, Apple has procured a number of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) machines that are used in OLED manufacturing with the intention to set up its own panel line in Taiwan. Although previous reports suggest that Apple's partnership with Samsung may continue throughout 2018, when Apple is expected to introduce three iPhone models featuring OLED displays, the Cupertino-based company is taking a decisive step toward diversifying supply beyond its Korean tech rival.

This year's iPhone lineup is expected to feature a major redesign with an OLED display, as well as two LCD S-models to refresh last year's 7 and 7 Plus, but starting 2018, Apple is expected to shift toward OLED-only manufacturing. This would mean that Apple would need a much greater supply of panels to sustain its iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch lineups.

As far as actual manufacturing of the raw components for the panels, Apple is likely not going to dabble in this, but would rather opt to license the equipment to other manufacturers for the purposes of building Apple devices, 9to5Mac notes.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is also reportedly in talks with LG Display to set up a new manufacturing facility dedicated to supplying its lines, but ET News' report claims that Apple has yet to validate LG's OLED panels. LG is currently supplying Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi and Google with OLED panels.

source: DigiTimes via 9to5Mac

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