Apple ‘Urgently’ Need New OLED Supplier, Samsung Push Prices Up
Word is, Apple is “in urgent need of finding a second source of OLED”, following reports that the only company in the world capable of making OLED to the standard it requires, Samsung Display, is pushing their prices up.
Apple’s newest high-end iPhone is set to be unveiled next week, which will see the company shifting to OLED technology for its flagship phone.
Given the number of iPhone units Apple intends to sell, a heavy reliance on Samsung is placed, which puts it in a powerful position. The iPhone 8 is said to feature slimmed down bezels on all sides, making it an aesthetic aspect where Apple cannot afford to reduce quality. As Samsung is known to make the best smartphone OLED displays in the world, it makes sense Apple would stick to them.
The dependence naturally gives Samsung an advantage over pricing, as it is said there is no viable alternative currently.
KGI analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, states that Apple needs to find a second OLED supplier urgently, in order to take some of the bargaining power away from Samsung Display.
Kuo states that Apple is paying $120 – $130/per unit, which is a notable increase from $45 – $55/per unit it paid for the iPhone 7 Plus’ 5.5″ LCD screen. Understandably, Apple will be passing some of these costs onto consumers, though sources state Apple will be pursuing a high profit margin.
Finding an alternate OLED supplier would also aid supply constraints, as the iPhone 8 is expected to be increasingly difficult to obtain during the initial launch phase.
Sources state LG is the obvious alternate OLED supplier. Apple has reportedly injected over $2 billion in LG Display to manufacture OLED panels for future iPhones. Google has also reportedly invested in LG’s display business – the Pixel 2 XL is said to be made by LG Mobile, and utilise LG-sourced display screens.