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Apple taps Samsung for next-gen iPhone displays

Posted: 25 Apr 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? AMOLED? LCD? LG Display? Apple?

A number of Korean media sources have reported that Samsung Display has entered into an agreement with Apple to supply OLED displays for the next generation of iPhones. Consequently, shares in the Korean's rival LG Display dropped by nearly seven per cent.

The Samsung displays are slated to replace the LCD panels used in the current iPhones that are produced by LG Display. Almost 40 per cent of the iPhone display panels are produced by LG Display.

Samsung is forecast supply an annual 100 million OLED panels, worth $2.6 billion, to Apple from 2Q17 for three years. The Apple deal will help Samsung to maintain the company's lead in the small and medium display market.

Claiming 23 per cent of all revenues, Samsung Display led the 9in-and-smaller display market in 2015 according to IHS Inc. YoY unit-shipment growth in the small and medium display market was flat in 2015, reaching 2.8 billion units, added the market intelligence specialist.

Revenue rose four per cent compared with the previous year, to reach $43.9 billion. IHS ranked second Japan Display in the market at 16 per cent with LG Display placing third at 13 per cent. Sharp ranked fourth at 10 per cent.

Small-medium display revenue

Figure 1: 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 per cent, and low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (LTPS TFT) LCD unit shipments to rise 10 per cent, over the previous year. As AMOLED and LTPS TFT LCD shipments rose, however, amorphous silicon (a-Si) TFT LCD shipments declined 10 per cent YoY 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."

- Paul Buckley
??EE Times

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