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One Year Left For OLED, Apple Display Supplier

Apple’s supplier of mobile screens, Japan Display Inc, claims it has another year before it decides whether or not to transition to OLED displays or continue manufacturing LCD panels, risking further company losses, as pressure mounts from competitor technology.

As reported by Bloomberg, Japan Display is looking to move towards its liquid crystal display technology to retain price-advantage and remain competitive through 2021, moving away from the production of LCD panels, and avoiding the transition to OLED.

Competition is mounting from Samsung, who has invested $11 billion into QLED displays, and even from Apple themselves, who are reportedly moving towards Micro-LED panels, following the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially publishing a granted patent for Apple.

According to Samsung, who developed the technology, they claim it is the future for large screen TVs, though whether or not the same can be said for smartphone screens is still to be seen.

Japan Display CEO, Minoru Kikuoka anticipates a decisive shift towards the newer technology, despite OLED panels being slimmer, more energy-efficient, as well as offering higher contrast.

However, in the meantime, the company will continue to produce more affordable LCD panels for Apple products.

“We are seeing consumers put more emphasis on affordability when it comes to their smartphone preferences,” said Kikuoka.

“The industry is now gaining a new appreciation for the kind of price competitiveness offered by the LCDs.”

Japan Display currently supplies LCD panels for the 2019 iPhone 11, with the Apple’s flagship, the iPhone 11 Pro sporting an OLED display which Apple calls the Super Retina XDR display.

Apple may still shift entirely to OLED for its new phones by 2020, despite Japan Display reportedly due to produce an OLED screen for the next Apple Watch.

Unfortunately, even Japan Display seems pessimistic about their future, with Kikuoka saying without a partner ‘to pitch in on the capital side’ the company simply cannot ‘shift to OLED’.

The company is also facing an investment crisis after China Harvest Tech Investment Management Co withdrew from its rescue plan, following half a decade of losses.

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