Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / email@example.com
On 14 April, one Korean media reported that Samsung Display agreed to supply OLED for Apple’s iPhone, and the forecast that Samsung Display OLED will be used for iPhone 7S (TBA) to be released in 2017 is gaining traction.
According to the Maeil Kyoungjae article published on 14, Samsung Display and Apple signed agreement of OLED supply of 3 trillion KRW worth of 5.5 inch panel a year, with 3 years of supplier right. Subsequently, it is known that Samsung will carry out new investment of total 10 trillion KRW for Gen6 flexible OLED exclusive line A3 factory, and supply 100 million units of OLED panel a year for 3 years from Q2 2017. The majority of the industry estimates that Apple will begin application of this panel from the model to be released in H2 2017.
No official confirmation is Samsung Display’s position. However, it has been widely known within the industry that Samsung Display has agreed to supply OLED for Apple from next year. OLEDNET analyzed whether Samsung Display’s OLED application to the new 2017 iPhone is possible.
UBI Research’s analysis of key Korean OLED manufacturing companies’ Financial Supervisory Service public announcements shows that the volume Samsung Display ordered for A3 line expansion is judged to be 30K. Samsung Display’s current A3 line is 15K volume. When the newly ordered 30K volume is established, the total volume becomes 45K.
1K equals 1,000 units of glass substrate per month. If 1 substrate can produce approximately 300 units of panel, 45K A3 line can mass produce 162 million units of OLED panel per year. Global iPhone sales volume is about 200 million units per year. For Samsung Display to supply about half of this volume, approximately 100 million units a year, the 45K line is enough.
The problem is that Samsung Display does not supply OLED to Apple only. UBI Research analyzes that when OLED panels of Galaxy series for Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display’s biggest client, is considered, 45K volume is not enough; at a minimum 60K is required to satisfy the demand of both Samsung Electronics and Apple.
UBI Research’s Choong Hoon Yi forecast that if Samsung Display carries out additional orders regarding A3 line expansion within this year and is equipped with over 60K volume, the company will be able to handle half of iPhone’s annual OLED supply at a minimum. He explained that the 45K could be insufficient to supply OLED for both Galaxy and iPhone series. Yi added that Samsung Display can at least supply a small volume of OLED to Apple, and have them be applied to the early batch of iPhone 7S (TBA) in H2 2017.