LG Display to invest $9bn in new OLED plant
Factory expected to manufacture OLED displays for iPhone from 2018 onwards
LG Display has announced that it is set to spend almost $9bn on the built-out of a new factory designed to manufacture OLED displays.
The displays, for which LG has recently won numerous awards, allow for thinner screens and smaller amounts of power consumption, as well as brighter colours and darker blacks. LG rival Samsung has hedged its bets on OLED technology since the early days of its Galaxy smartphone range, and routinely supplies such displays to other handset manufacturers.
The build-out of the new LG plant -costed at $8.7bn - is also thought to be focused on supplying screens for other manufacturers, and Apple is expected to be one of the new factory's biggest clients. Apple has so far stuck with more traditional LCD displays (except on the Apple Watch, which features an OLED display from Samsung), but Japan's Nikkei newspaper has reported that Cupertino wants to switch to OLED from 2018 onwards.
This would coincide with LG's plans to have the new OLED factory up and running by 2018. And while it is expected that Apple will likely rely on more than one screen supplier (as it does now), the vendor is expected to rely more on LG if the new OLED displays are up to scratch. Analysts have pointed out that demand from Apple alone would be enough to sustain LG's new factory.
Indeed, Apple is already a good customer of LG's, accounting for around a quarter of the company's display sales.