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KGI: LG Display to become Apple’s second OLED panel supplier in 2018

As we’ve reported in the past, Samsung looks to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone 8, but a new report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says LG will soon join the fray and supply Apple with said panels…

Kuo explains there are several factors indicating that LG will become an OLED supplier for Apple in 2018. For Apple, Kuo says the OLED panel “has been the single most troublesome component for Apple.” With Samsung having the power and expertise when it comes to the screen technology, Apple has lost some of its bargaining power. Thus, Kuo believes that Apple is “committed to having LG Display geared up for its OLED iPhone display business in 2018.”

Furthermore, Kuo says that LG can offer improved collaboration with other industry suppliers, thus increasing shipment yield rate.

Samsung is now Apple’s sole iPhone OLED panel supplier across front- and back-end manufacturing. We think LGD could institute a similar production model. However, considering its strengths are in front-end process, collaborating with a specialized back- end process provider like GIS will, in our view, significantly boost iPhone OLED panel output rate.

Lastly, Kuo explains that it’s likely LG can team up with GIS for improved lamination experience with MegaSite and integration with Foxconn manufacturing facilities:

GIS likely favored to team up with LGD in OLED for credentials in lamination, experience with MegaSite & advantages of vertical integration with Hon Hai.

Today’s report echoes a report from earlier this year, which explained LG is making a $3.5 billion bet on becoming Apple’s second OLED display supplier, which would be a huge boost to its business.

Kuo’s report doesn’t make any claims regarding the iPhones Apple has up its sleeve for 2018. It’s been reported in the past, however, that Apple will bring the OLED display technology to all of its iPhone models next year. While this year the change will be limited to the high-end iPhone 8, the expansion to LG for additional display supply will certainly make it easier for Apple to expand its OLED offerings to new models.

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