The Apple iPhone X is the first device from the Cupertino-based company that sports an OLED screen, and its success is an indication that Apple won’t back down from the technology any time soon. With OLED being the preferred screen technology on smartphones now, most major smartphone makers are using OLED displays on their smartphones, including Apple, Google, Samsung, LG and OnePlus, to name a few.
However, OLED screens are primarily manufactured by two companies – Samsung and LG. Smartphone makers all over the world need to source their screens from these two companies, including Apple which has thus far depended on Samsung to provide OLED screens for its Apple iPhone X. However, Apple has been keen to reduce its dependence on rival Samsung, which manufactures the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series of smartphones that directly compete against Apple’s flagship devices. Its plan for this was to also source screens from LG, the direct Korean rival to Samsung.
However, WSJ now reports that LG may not be able to keep up with the demand generated by Apple, and could potentially be inviable as a supplier of OLED screens to Apple. While LG has gotten its act together when it comes to manufacturing large OLED screens (for TVs and outdoor displays), it’s still struggling to produce smartphone-sized OLED screens in mass production numbers.
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Additionally, LG’s use of P-OLED technology has meant that its screens are arguably inferior to Samsung’s AMOLED technology. Samsung’s ability to produce large quantities of OLED screens means that it remains the only viable option for Apple, which needs large quantities of screens for its phones. Samsung’s monopoly over the market means it currently dictates terms on pricing and also has direct information on a key technology aspect of the smartphone, which helps the company plan its own smartphones better.