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Samsung reportedly building the world’s largest OLED production plant as it chases more Apple orders

Samsung is said to be building the world’s largest OLED production plant as it seeks to meet future demand for displays for the iPhone 8 and beyond. The report comes after the company reportedly shared its plans with manufacturers of production equipment needed for the plant.

However, while Samsung is believed to be the sole supplier of displays for the iPhone 8, there is no guarantee that it will retain this position for subsequent OLED models …

Samsung has already been expanding one of its existing plants to meet orders for the iPhone 8, enabling it to hit production targets of 135,000 panels per month. Korea’s ET News reports that the company has now started work on an additional plant, with a massive investment of more than $20B.

According to industries on the 28th, Samsung Display has started constructing 6th generation flexible OLED production line called ‘A5 (tentative name)’, which has production capacity of […] up to 270,000 panels per month […] It will have to make investments between $20.1 billion and 21.0 billion.

Samsung’s lead in phone-sized flexible OLED displays is the reason Apple has likely selected it as the sole supplier for the iPhone 8, but other companies are also chasing Apple’s future business. LG was last month reported to be making a $3.5B investment in OLED production capacity, switching its focus from TV displays to smartphone ones. Sharp and Japan Display are also hoping to pick up future OLED orders from Apple.

While the iPhone 8 is expected to be the only iPhone this year to use an OLED display, with other models sticking with IPS LCD screens for now, it has been reported that Apple is planning to use OLED on all iPhones by 2019.

How long this will be the case is uncertain, however. Apple is already looking beyond OLED to microLED displays. The company acquired a company specializing in this technology back in 2014, and it has been suggested that it might introduce it first to the Apple Watch. Apple is said to set for a trial production run this year.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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