Apple hogs AMOLED screen orders so Chinese smartphone makers form consortium to ensure supply

Apple hogs AMOLED screen orders so Chinese smartphone makers form consortium to ensure supply
When Apple starts ordering components for building iPhones, this means big, big orders – sometimes big enough to prevent smaller companies from securing orders for their products, due to Cupertino's overwhelming demand. It has happened with Sony camera sensors a number of times. In 2015, the company was so busy handling orders for the iPhone 6c that it could only meet half the demand from its Chinese clients. Such situations drastically affect product development schedules, forcing manufacturers to downscale their output and incorporate other solutions whilst racing against the clock.

Such a conflict is very likely to occur as Apple steps up its AMOLED display orders between 2018 and 2020, a timeframe where persistent demand by the iPhone maker could prevent other companies from securing enough units for their products and negatively tamper with their plans. In hopes to offset this, four major Chinese mobile companies – Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, and BBK are teaming up to invest in China-based flexible OLED panel maker Royole. More specifically, they are forming a consortium for joint investment in Chinese flexible AMOLED production. With access to locally sourced AMOLED panels, Chinese manufacturers won't have to rely on Korean and Japanese display panel makers' production capacity.

These news provide a clear perspective on Apple's significance as a smartphone maker. Its component orders alone are basically big enough to support an entire technological industry, like display making. The company's competition is so large that its competitors don't simply have diminished chances of selling their products, their chances of actually completing said products are being reduced. Thankfully, the more resourceful among them obviously have what it takes to meet this challenge and keep their business going, albeit at heavy costs.

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53 Comments

1. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Apple FTW, as usual. The increased demand for OLED panels is a good thing, and is in itself going to be good for job creation.

9. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

More like samsung ftw if they don't use lg's oled in TVs.

14. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

No one mentioned anything about Samsung here..

16. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Chill, he is saying that just because more than likely that is where Apple will get the screens.

25. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3092; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

But he's right. No one mentioned anything about Samsung here. You need to chill.

27. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

OMG The article is about Oled screen and Apple using them. Since Apple does not make these I really don't see the harm in bring up the company's that do. Yeah he could have left out the Samsung for the win since it's not 100% thats who Apple will use. And I can't count how many time ifans bring up Apple in a Samsung article.

42. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

We already seen an article stating Samsung would be making the displays for the iPhone 8 Plus.

47. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Oh, sorry guess I forgot or I didn't see it.

45. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Thank you for backing me up. Some people read tech articles and don't even know that oleds are made by samsung. Smh

44. deleon629

Posts: 441; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

That's just it: the fact of the matter is that we can't mention iPhone production without mentioning their interdependance upon Samsung parts, thus also considering that (no matter how many times the press decides to convince the world that they're in competition) Samsung will always come out in top with the sales of their devices in conjunction with Apple's demand for screens and other iPhone components.

46. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Your fanboyism, it's eating you right in the middle of your gut. A small mention of company related to the topic and you cry like a baby. Oled = samsung in case you forget that again.

51. sgodsell

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

As if Apple is hogging the AMOLED displays. Especially since a number of OEMs already sell smartphones with AMOLED displays. Not to mention it's not like Samsung or any other display manufacturer is going to stop selling AMOLED displays to existing OEMs. Also most likely Apple is not going to ditch their IPS displays and go 100% AMOLED. You still have those die hard Apple zealots that swear IPS displays are superior to AMOLED.

11. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Yes yes, because before OLED, Apple phones didn't use any screens. There, I just pulled your head out of its rear end again. OLED is great and all, but Apple isn't creating jobs, when they are REPLACING LCD's.

17. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

It's a little more involved than you think. Apple just doesn't call Samsung and say "bruh we need sum dem oled screenz." Apple would need to design and engineer the OLED panels to their specs, and that often involves hiring staff with OLED knowledge, as well as contracting out fabrication help. THEN when Apple is satisfied the product meets what they need, Samsung will receive the specs from Apple to manufacturer APPLES OLED PANELS. So just from the singular perspective of Apple, the switch to OLED is a guaranteed job creator. Much like that consortium in China that was formed, undoubtedly they'll require the services of merchant suppliers to meet their OLED goals. So there, now your head has been pulled out of your rear and you understand a little better.

20. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple designs and engineers display panels for it's iPhones? Apple lists the specs it wants, and Samsung maufactures it according to those specs. Giving specific specs for an OLED display isn't engineering... WTH?

28. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

At this point I realize I'm the idiot for trying any further to explain this, but stubborn fool that I am, I'll try one more time; Forget Apple, since I know you can't accept they are capable of anything, so let's say Samsung, for whatever reason, needs to order OLED, or AMOLED panels from LG. Samsung, contrary to what you want to believe, will not just call LG and say "bro we need sum AMOLED panels for da new ess 8, here be the size." Why not you ask? Because 1) Samsung will need to engineer everything from the mask used as the template to the ee layer to the electrodes. They may even have their chemists modify the polymers, difficult as that can be. 2) Samsung will work with different companies ( or in their case, some of their own divisions ) to manufacture the myriad components that make up an OLED or AMOLED panel. 3) Once all that comes together, Samsung will have their R&D team either assemble the finish panel, or if that is beyond the scope of what they can do, they'll contract out a third party to build the finished panel. 4) Upon receiving finished product(s), Samsung will test, and test, and with the assistance as needed, tweak the panel until they are satisfied with it. And now step 5, the final step (yes the number of steps may vary +/- but for the purpose of our discussion we will leave it at five (5). Anyhow, NOW Samsung is ready to contact LG and say, "bro we need sum OLED or AMOLED panels, here is EXACTLY how we want you to make them." See the point of Samsung doing all that? That's how they reduce final costs, by bearing the brunt of the R&D expense, they also make it VERY difficult for LG to reverse engineer the panel (since LG wasn't involved in the numerous steps regarding the panel development) and most important, Samsung is able to have a reasonable control of quality, since LG has to follow the exact steps laid out to build the panel. The technology sector that builds the phone you use, the PC or MAC or smartwatch or whatever, is not as simplistic as people would like to believe. There is an awful lot of work that goes into the creation of the various components. Hopefully I was able to impart that to you.

31. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

You were called out for not using those brains again and now you're just digging deeper trying to make sense out of something that will never make any. Display manufacturers always have a set R&D budget to get to a desired level of quality. Where one type of display will gain budget, the other loses. It really is that simple. Any deviation from that total sum game is pure guessing. You made the claim though, with nothing factual to support it. Don't expect noteworthy changes to the OLED panels Apple might use anyway, because the ones they are using now in other products aren't raising the bar compared to what others offer either. If they need up to 100 million, they will go the safe route and go with what Samsung can offer already, instead of new tech..

33. tedkord

Posts: 17135; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Right. Likely the only change you'll see is some off the wall resolution. Otherwise, they'll request a specific size. As for meeting their quality expectations, Samsung AMOLEDs have exceeded Apple's LCD offerings for three years running, at least.

35. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

There is but a finite number of ways I can try to explain how the industry actually works, since I work in a particular sector of it, and I've pretty much exhausted all. Fine, believe it's how you say it is. You are totally correct, all knowing Macready, there is no more R&D to be done, science and engineering have peaked, now it's all simply a matter of ordering out of the parts bin. You'd best contact Samsung and Apple and inform them of such, and then tour the entire USA, canvassing as many universities as possible and tell them their physics and chemistry and chemical engineering research is all for naught, the needed parts already exist and there is no way to improve upon the technology.

36. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So Apple is going to hire people and spend millions on OLED R&D to lower the R&D costs, when OLED manufacturers have already done the R&D. All Apple needs to do is tell the OLED supplier what they require, and the OLED supplier will tell them if it's possible or not. Just because Apple did their own CPUs, it doesn't mean they're going to engineer all the major components. Most companies that produce electronics don't engineer everything inside. Most use off the shelf components when available, or have them manufactured if they're not. And there are many industries that do this. Car batteries for example. There are only a few companies making car batteries (can't remember the exact number but it's less than 10 for certain). In the US there are 3 main companies, Johnson Controls, Exide, and East Penn. Another example is speakers. There are roughly 10-15 speaker manufacturers in the world, so when you're choosing between different brands of home or car speakers, even though there are over 100 brands in each category to choose from, only 10-15 actually manufacture them. In the cases of both the batteries and speakers, a company will come to one of the manufacturers and tell them what they want out of the speaker. They rely on the R&D done by the manufacturer for their products.

40. tedkord

Posts: 17135; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Well, if the manufacturers tell them it's not possible, they might.But what are they going to ask for? AMOLED has smoked LCD for several years now.

49. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's possible, but the problem with that is they're starting out from a place with no knowledge on the subject. So they need to hire knowledgeable employees, supply resources and capital for them, etc, all without knowing if there will be any benefits when it's all said and done. So they may go that way and invest in the R&D, but even if it's a success it's still going to end up costing them a helluva lot more than going with something that's ready to go. And that money is going to need to be recouped, which means upping the price on their hardware or taking a loss.

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

That is false. Apple has to look and see what product Samsung already makes that matches the standards for what they are looking for ' Its just like when you go shopping. You buy off the shelf the product that best matches what you are looking for. You don't get to ask the manufacturer to make a specific part every times. Though Apple has done such with OEM's like Intel, its rare due to cost. You are foolish in your claim. Which you cant prove anyways

53. Freebird

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 09, 2017

No it's not like that. Apple boys ordered oled manufacturing and testing equipment from Sunik Systems Co.Ltd (S. Korea) to learn and obtain minimum knowledge required to talk and deal with Sammy engineers in ordering oled screens. Apple boys are studying and experiencing oled things in Apple's R&D center in Taiwan. They should study hard of course if they don't want to be pissed off because of their ignorance when dealing with Sammy Tech Teams. Are you working for any part of oled industry? I'm working for supplying oled manufacturing equipment to Sammy and LG.

15. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

"Such a conflict is very LIKELY to occur as Apple steps up its AMOLED display orders between 2018 and 2020" For one, it is of course a rumor and not tell between 2018 and 2020. I don't think the little companies have to worry a hole lot.

41. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But you guys claimed AMOLED displays were inferior to LCD. lol now all of a sudden you want them? You guys are such hypocrites!

50. lyndon420

Posts: 6518; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

So...job creation is a good thing so long as apple is the only one benefitting from it? You only care about apple's success correct?

2. Tizo101

Posts: 515; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

hopefully they are paying extra just to hog.

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They never pay extra, the smaller Apple suppliers usually go out of business or are on the brink of it due to the 0 profits from supporting apple.

3. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I wish Gionee had joined this consortium. I'd hate to see BLU phones delayed because of the f**king iPhone.

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