Apple has indeed selected LG Display as its second supplier of OLED panels for iPhone displays, following a successful series of quality tests, a report said on Friday.
LG is preparing mass production via two of the lines at its E6 factory, which only recently emerged from testing itself, according to sources for the Korea Herald. The publication didn’t say when the first deliveries might take place.
Until now Samsung has been Apple’s exclusive OLED supplier for iPhones, since no other company has had the capacity to support the demand. Samsung has been using OLED in its own phones for years, most notably in the Galaxy S and Note lines.
Multiple reports have indicated that Apple was planning to tap LG, which also makes OLED screens for the Apple Watch. Apple has stringent quality demands for suppliers however, and LG has moreover had to build up its capacity to become a realistic option for iPhones.
Samsung is likely to remain a primary supplier for some time. A report from July claimed LG’s initial order would be 3 to 4 million panels, which if true would support just a fraction of the new iPhones Apple is expected to ship by the end of the year.
Nevertheless LG could help alleviate constraints on the supply chain and keep the prices of iPhones in check. The 5.8-inch OLED panel on the iPhone X was believed to cost Apple about $110, making it the device’s most expensive component and contributing to a $999 price tag. The iPhone XS, now in preorder, costs the same with a similarly-sized display, and to this the company has added the 6.5-inch XS Max, which starts at $1,099. Despite using a 6.1-inch screen, the LCD-based iPhone XR is $749.