Oct 17, 2016: With Apple Inc. planning to adopt OLED displays for its iPhones in 2017, it will need millions of OLED screens. This puts immense pressure on the Japanese OLED display manufacturers to upgrade their manufacturing capacities to meet the huge demand. Any company who couldn’t upgrade itself to meet the rising demand, not only loses lucrative business, but loses to its rivals as well.
Apple usually prefers to have multiple suppliers, hence it is in talks with Sharp Corporation, Japan Displays and some others to supply OLED screens for iPhones.
Japan Display has already started off with its plan to upgrade its own OLED production capabilities. Initially it plans to invest US$2 billion for each even before it gets any firm orders from Apple because Japan Displays knowns that it has to gear up for the tough competition. If it does not upgrade at this moment, it will have to get out of the smartphone supplier business altogether.
The smartphone industry has already shifted from liquid-crystal displays (LCD) to LED, and now it is shifting to OLED displays, as it uses less battery while delivering sharper and brighter images. Smartphones with OLED displays will be more flexible, bendable and with many innovative features.
Currently, Samsung Electronics dominates smartphone OLED display market, which made 99% of shipments in the first half of 2016, according to IHS Markit. Samsung, the biggest competitor for Apple, makes it difficult for Apple to find good and capable suppliers for OLED displays for iPhones. It is reported that Apple is also in talks with Samsung to secure OLED displays.