Apple has long been rumored to be making the shift to OLED displays for the iPhone. Given that Samsung has a big lead in the mobile OLED space it was inevitable that Apple was going to source OLED displays from its biggest rival.
A lot of numbers have been thrown around over the past few months. It was reported last year that Apple had placed an order for 100 million 5.5-inch AMOLED panels from Samsung for the 2017 iPhone. We heard two months ago that both companies inked a $4.3 billion OLED supply agreement for an additional 60 million OLED panels over and above the 100 million believed to have been previously ordered.
The Nikkei Asian Review is now reporting that Apple has placed an order for 70 million OLED panels for this year’s iPhone with Samsung. Research company IHS Markit’s senior director David Hsieh says that while Apple has initially ordered 70 million units of OLED panels from Samsung, the latter is actually preparing to ramp up production to 95 million units for 2017 in case demand ends up exceeding expectations.
Whatever the final number ends up being – it’s not like the companies will ever confirm that – it goes without saying that Samsung’s position in the OLED market and its rapid expansion of its production facilities puts it at an advantage so Apple will certainly have to turn towards its rival if it wants to finally adopt an OLED display for the iPhone this year.