Reports from various Korean media sources indicate that Samsung Display has signed a deal with Apple to supply OLED displays for the next generation of iPhones with the result that shares in the Korean's rival LG Display dropped by about seven percent this week.
The Samsung displays are slated to replace the LCD panels used in the current iPhones that are currently produced by LG Display. Almost 40 percent of the iPhone display panels are currently produced by LG Display.
Samsung is forecast supply an annual 100 million OLED panels, worth $2.6 billion, to Apple from the second quarter of 2017 for three years. The Apple deal will help Samsung to maintain the company's lead in the small and medium display market.
Claiming 23 percent of all revenues, Samsung Display led the 9-inch-and-smaller display market in 2015 according to market intelligence specialists IHS Inc. Year-on-year unit-shipment growth in the small and medium display market was flat in 2015, reaching 2.8 billion units.
Revenue rose four percent compared with the previous year, to reach $43.9 billion. IHS ranked second Japan Display No. 2 in the market at 16 percent with LG Display placing third at 13 percent. Sharp ranked fourth at 10 percent.
2015 share of small-medium display revenue. Source: IHS
Although overall small-medium display unit shipments did not grow in 2015, increasing demand for high-resolution smartphone displays caused active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display unit shipments to grow 54 percent, and low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (LTPS TFT) LCD display unit shipments to rise 10 percent, over the previous year. As AMOLED and LTPS TFT LCD shipments rose, however, amorphous silicon (a-Si) TFT LCD shipments declined 10 percent year on year in 2015, according to the latest IHS Small-Medium Display Market Tracker.
“To compete in the increasingly saturated small-medium display market, smartphone manufacturers are shifting from a-Si TFT display technology to high-performance displays that rely on AMOLED and LTPS TFT technology,” said Hiroshi Hayase, senior director, IHS Technology. “In fact, with Apple’s iPhone line reportedly relying on AMOLED in the future, Japan Display and Sharp officially announced that by 2018 they would invest in mass production of AMOLED displays, joining leading AMOLED suppliers Samsung Display and LG Display.”
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