In July, last year, it was reported that Apple would be investing nearly $3 billion in a new LG facility for making OLED displays. An investment from Apple would, it is said, cover a steady supply of OLED display technology starting in 2019, at around the time we’d expect to see the iPhone 9 coming out.
OLED – Organic Light-Emitting Diode – is a type of display technology that makes it possible to reach dark black levels from ultra-thin screens while, at the same time being more efficient and eco-friendly.
How does it work? OLED technology is an organic, carbon-based film, placed between two conductors and, when an electrical current is passed through, it emits light. This process takes place in every single pixel in an OLED display.
OLED also includes an additional white pixel alongside the usual red, green and blue sub-pixels, with the aim of delivering more varied and accurate colours, as well as increasing a display’s lifespan and using less energy.
The move from Apple comes only months after LG invested $4 billion of its own in a bid to become a secondary supplier for Apple who are looking to improve its supply as it is struggling to enough panels, for the iPhone8 made, to create the same level of stock as normal iPhones. With the support from Apple it seems LG may soon be the primary supplier as they look to shore up supply to be able to meet demand for the iPhone users of the future.
Apple are not the only ones in the smartphone market using or looking to use OLED displays, assuming it adopts OLED tech. Many competitors are already on board with it, given its favourable efficiency and picture quality over LCD.
As we’ve heard frequently of late, the use of OLED is on the rise, though its supply is becoming increasingly more difficult as more brands want to use the tech.
So far, we don’t know if a global OLED shortage is going to cause delays for iPhones as has been rumoured, or if there is something else to blame.
Any investment in LG by Apple would be a means to make sure there’s less likely to be another shortage.