According to industry sources on January 22, competition will intensify as display makers enter the small and mid-sized OLED market that Samsung Display has dominated with a 98.5% market share.
It was reported that LG Display would start supplying OLED panels to Apple as early as the second half of this year. The company has been steadily increasing its portion of small and medium-sized OLED panels since last year. Paju E2 Line in Gyeonggi-do and Gumi E5 Line in North Gyeongsang Province are in operation. The company has drawn up a plan to operate an additional E6 production line in Paju in the second half of this year. The company is scheduled to roll out small and medium-sized OLEDs in the second half of the year by installing production equipment following the construction of E6 Plant.
LG Display is reportedly negotiating with Apple to supply flexible OLED panels for a new iPhone model. Although the volume of the current deal is around 15 million units, LG Display is expected to gradually increase its volume after striking a deal with Apple.
BOE of China is also showing active moves to be selected as a supplier of small and medium-sized OLEDs to Apple. BOE started to produce small and medium-sized flexible OLEDs in B7 Production Line in Chengdu, China last November. It plans to produce 48,000 6G OLED panels per month by next year. Moreover, it is known that BOE will build an OLED line for Apple in B11 Production Line in China.
Chinese display makers such as BOE, CSOT, Vision Oaks and Ever Display are investing in the construction of 6G flexible OLED production lines.
Sharp which was acquired by Foxconn in Taiwan also announced its entry into the OLED panel industry and will begin full-fledged small and mid-sized OLED production in the second quarter of this year. Mass-produced OLED panels here will be adopted in some models of Sharp's premium smartphones to be released in June. Especially since Foxconn is Apple's biggest partner, the industry predicts that if Sharp hits a certain level of OLED panel yield, Sharp will be able to land a substantial order for the iPhone from Apple.
"Currently, flexible OLED demand eclipses flexible OLED supply due to lack of technology and facilities of each company. However, oversupply is forecast as Samsung, LG and Chinese companies are continuing to aggressively investing in production of small and medium-sized OLED panels," said a representative of the display industry. "As cases where OLED panels are adopted as premium product displays are on the rise, supply competition between Samsung and late comers will become more intense."