Apple has reportedly picked LG Display as its second maker of flexible OLED displays, according to Korean tech news site ETNews. Rumors of Apple using LG as a possible alternative OLED screen supplier sprung up in June, and today’s news cites unidentified sources that claim LG’s OLED panels had passed Apple’s quality tests recently.
Until now, Samsung has been Apple’s sole OLED screen supplier since the iPhone X was introduced in 2017. Samsung, which agreed to provide around 100 million OLED displays in the initial deal, had enjoyed a monopoly, which allowed the company to control pricing. If LG enters the picture as a second supplier, it could minimize Apple’s reliance on Samsung.
If the deal moves forward, the LG Display OLED screens will most likely be used for the iPhone XS and XS Max, the only iPhones that use OLED screens. They won’t be used for the cheaper iPhone XR, which was also announced on Wednesday, because it uses an LCD screen. LG uses OLED screens for its own V30 smartphone — which was called “an ugly disappointment” by my colleague Vlad Savov — and it currently supplies OLED screens for the Google Pixel 2 XL, which has also faced a host of display issues.
Although it was reported in April that LG couldn’t meet Apple’s demands for OLED displays, the new quality tests seem to have quelled any doubts Apple had about the partnership. The ETNews source also reports that LG is now gearing up for mass production at its new OLED manufacturing plant, so LG displays may be closer than we think.