With the expectation that Apple will switch from older LCD phone displays to more advanced OLED phone displays as part of a 2017 iPhone overhaul, there has been wide speculation as to which manufacturer will end up scoring most of the orders from the Silicon Valley tech giant. Although some reports have stated that Apple has already reached an agreement making Samsung its primary OLED supplier, LG’s recent $1.99 trillion won ($1.75 billion) investment into OLED production could make it a viable competitor to Samsung in the coming years.
This money will go towards a new production line for sixth-generation OLEG displays in Paju, South Korea, which is expected to start mass production mid-2018. The new facility will focus on producing displays for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. This is part of a series of investments by LG into smaller OLED panels as it tries to catch up to Samsung’s current lead in making such displays.
Though LG will likely not be able to become a large part of Apple’s 2017 overhaul, the recent investment just might open up the possibility of future deals and purchases from not only Apple, but from other tech companies as well. Indeed, research firm IHS Markit already predicts that OLED will replace LCD as the dominant display technology by 2020, a good sign for the future implications of LG’s latest investment.