LG reportedly received an order for 20 million OLED screens for use in the upcoming iPhone 12 series. The significant order means Samsung no longer exclusively makes OLED displays for iPhone.
In 2019, Apple launched three iPhones, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. LG currently makes LCD screens for iPhones that still use that screen technology, like the iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, however, use OLED displays made by Samsung.
In 2020, Apple is expected to launch four OLED iPhones. While we don’t yet know the naming conventions, it’s expected we’ll get a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Further, the ‘Pro’ variants will likely use a more sophisticated OLED display tech called ‘Y-OCTA’ made by Samsung. It eliminates the separate touch sensor layer, which makes for a thinner and clearer display. Samsung is expected to fulfill the remaining 55 million display orders for the other phones.
Technically, LG already makes OLED displays for Apple, but this marks the first time the company will do so at a large scale and for the launch of an iPhone. 9to5Mac notes that LG has likely filled small-scale orders of OLED displays for older iPhones and refurbished current models. Those orders were probably tests to see if LG’s displays were capable enough.
Apple has wanted to reduce dependence on Samsung for OLED screens for some time. While LG is one of the clear options, it has reportedly struggled to meet both the quality and volume requirements Apple needs. However, if the reported order is accurate, it could mean LG’s OLED screens are finally good enough.
LG isn’t the only company looking to supply Apple with OLED panels. Chinese manufacturer BOE reportedly invested in similar OLED tech to Samsung’s Y-OCTA, which it allegedly pitched to Apple last year. While it appears BOE didn’t win an order from the company, it could become another potential supplier in the future.