“LG Display on July 25 announced a whopping 9.6 trillion won (US$8.50 billion) fresh investment into OLED production,” Lee Ji-yoon reports for The Investor. “But the display maker remained mum over investors’ foremost concern — a possible funding by Apple. ”
“The US tech giant is reportedly considering providing financial support for LG Display, its long-time LCD partner, to beef up OLED production, with its first OLED iPhone debuting later this year,” Lee reports. “Amid tight supplies of OLED panels for smartphones, Samsung Display, the sole supplier for the upcoming iPhone, is enjoying a near monopoly with more than 95 percent market share.”
“Even though the two firms declined to confirm the funding plans, industry watchers say Apple may have already decided to invest in the Korean partner,” Lee reports. “‘If Apple’s funding had not been confirmed, LG Display’s management may have not decided on the huge spending,’ an industry source said on condition of anonymity. Considering the Korean firm’s cash reserves estimated at about 7 trillion won this year, the source said Apple’s investment would be more than 2 trillion won.”
“Sources say the firm’s new production line, called E6, is likely to be dedicated to iPhone orders,” Lee reports. “About 3.5 trillion won is needed for an OLED production line with a monthly capacity of 30,000 units of the sixth-generation OLED mother glass.”
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MacDailyNews Take: It is smart for Apple to not only inject some competition into the OLED supply chain — which, of course, will drive down prices — but also to cause the slavish copier and serial patent infringer, Samsung, as much pain as possible.