Samsung Display may be worried that other iPhone screen panel suppliers infringe on its OLED patents
UPDATE: Samsung Display got in touch to advise that there has been no meeting between Tim Cook and its CEO and it hasn't asked Apple to maintain its display panel quantities order. The original article claiming the abovementioned rumors has also been retracted by the source. Samsung Display still stands by the importance of protecting its intellectual property rights.
After they learned about Apple's plans to cut iPhone production orders on account of pressing supply chain challenges, the head of Samsung Display Choi Joo-sun has reportedly flown to the US to meet with Apple representatives at the HQ in California and warn against wiggling out of the contracted orders.
According to The Elec's industry sources, the Samsung Display CEO has tried to dissuade Apple's CEO Tim Cook from the production cut plans and make everything possible to ensure that the contract obligations with Samsung are met, despite Apple's expressed intention to lower the iPhone production volume forecast from 220 million to 185 million units this year.
Samsung expected at least 160 million OLED panel orders from Apple in 2022, but at the quarterly results press conference yesterday Tim Cook advised that the company is going through a supply chain bottleneck that would directly affect the number of iPhones shipped going forward as well as the projected revenue.
The Samsung Display head's visit to Apple's HQ is not disputed by Samsung, but they just commented that he hasn't met with Tim Cook there. According to Korean industry sources, CEO Choi asked that Samsung's order contract remain intact, while Apple cuts the orders towards its other display suppliers, especially BOE.
According to a Korean display industry official, "Samsung Display has warned through various channels that it may sue Apple for a patent against a product containing a competitor’s OLED panel. Daesang seems to have the Chinese BOE in mind."
Now, what exactly patent infringement does Samsung have in mind remains to be heard, but it was already in a big patent litigation fight with Apple a few years back and the team from Cupertino is probably unwilling to go through those motions one more time.
Also, when the iPhone X didn't sell as well as Apple hoped it had to reportedly pay $770 million compensation to Samsung for unfulfilled contractual obligations, so that may tip the scale in Samsung's favor this time around as well.
Things that are NOT allowed: