Apple to invest in LG Display's OLED business to secure capacity?

The Korea Herald reports that Apple is in talks with LG Display to invest 2-3 trillion Won ($1.7-$2.6 billion USD) in LG's OLED production lines, in order to exclusively reserve some of LG's flexible OLED capacity.

LG Display 5.5'' flexible AMOLED panel (SID 2015)

The report says that the two firms already agreed on these investment plans, but the details (which includes the investment size and timing) have not been finalized yet. A couple of month ago we heard reports (originating from another Korean news outlet, Business Korea) that LGD is in talks with Apple.

Apple's new investment will help LGD's ramp up its E6 line, which is a 6-Gen flexible OLED fab scheduled for the end of 2018 with an estimated capacity of 30,000 monthly substrates. This is LGD's 3rd flexible OLED line, following the company's current 4.5-Gen pilot line (used to make the flexible OLEDs in Apple's Watch) and the E5 line in Gumi which is now entering production.

It was always assumed that Apple is seeking a 2nd OLED supplier as it is not happy to depend on Samsung Display as its sole supplier. The recent reports about SDC's failure to meet Apple's demand and come through on its promise for OLED displays in time for the September launch of the OLED iPhone may certainly help Apple's decision to diversify...

Posted: Jul 03,2017 by Ron Mertens