With the iPhone X, Apple had to rely on a competitor, Samsung, as its sole provider of OLED displays. The company had hoped to add a second supplier, LG Display, this year; however, it appears that LG has run into some problems.
Manufacturing problems have caused LG to fall behind the schedule that many suppliers follow before beginning mass production for iPhones, which usually starts around July, the people said. As a result, opinions within Apple are divided on whether LG Display can become a second source of OLED displays for the upcoming iPhones, one of the people said.
“Because Samsung is Apple’s competitor, it’s an issue for Apple if it has to continue buying the component from Samsung,” said Hiroshi Hayase, an analyst at IHS Technology.
Relying on just Samsung means that Apple would have less bargaining power in negotiating a price for the component. In addition, if there's a problem with supply, it can't compensate by shifting orders to another supplier.
With the expected launch of two OLED iPhones this year, a second generation 5.8-inch iPhone X and a new 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, Apple will need more OLED panels than ever. Sources estimate the company will manufacture 100 million iPhones in 2018, half of which require an OLED display.
Apple recently ordered LG Display to go through a third round of prototype production for its OLED smartphone screens, sources say. If it gets production on track, LG Display could supply up to 20% of panels for this year's new iPhones, according to supply-chain analysis by Susquehanna International Group. Samsung will take care of the rest.
More details in the full report linked below...