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OLED production

Samsung Ramps Up OLED Production Ahead of Apple 'iPhone 8' Launch

August 4, 2017

It looks like OLED production on this year’s “iPhone 8” is finally moving at a brisk pace. Samsung is now operating seven of its sixth generation flexible OLED lines at full capacity — all of them for Apple, according to ET News.

The number of panels now being produced by Samsung for Apple stands at 105,000 per month, which is a seven-fold increase from the 15,000 panels per month it made for the company last year. One panel can produce multiple iPhones.

Until now, the only Apple device to include an OLED display has been the Apple Watch. The iPhone 8, which could be announced next month, will be the first Apple handset to use the flexible material.

As the report explains, assuming Samsung could produce panels at maximum capacity and 100 percent yield, it would be enough to produce around 124 million 6-inch panels and 130 million 5.8-inch panels in a single year.

For now, however, this isn’t happening.

… Yield for panels that Apple requested is low due to high degree of technical difficulty. Industries believe that yields for Samsung Electronics’ panels and Apple’s panel are at least 80% and about 60% respectively.

Samsung will remain Apple’s sole OLED manufacturer, at least for while. Late last month, The Investor reported Apple would invest $2.7 billion in a new OLED production facility with LG Display. The move could allow the Korean display maker to provide up to 45,000 iPhone display units monthly beginning in 2019.

All of the iPhones for the 2018 cycle are expected to feature OLED displays. This year’s lineup, expected to be announced in the coming weeks, will only feature OLED on the 5.8-inch “iPhone 8.” The so-called 4.7-inch “iPhone 7s” and 5.5-inch “iPhone 7s Plus” will retain LCD screens like the current models.