LG bets on OLED screens, possibly for iPhones, with new $8.67B factory

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

LG Display plans new OLED factory.

Apple is set to start using brand new screen technology beginning with its iPhone 8, according to reports, probably bringing huge new improvements in battery life.

Seoul: Apple supplier LG Display will spend more than 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) on building a new plant and expanding production of a newer type of display that can be used to cut power use, make thinner devices and show brighter colours. That will probably be the year that Apple launches the iPhone 8, if it sticks with its pattern of launching a full new phone every other year and an “S” model inbetween. The factory will produce organic light-emitting diode displays for larger TVs, smartwatches and automotive displays and is targeted to start in the first half of 2018, Seoul-based LG Display said on Friday. OLED screens are much more efficient if they are being used to show screens that are predominantly black, meaning that the operating system would likely be redesigned to be mostly black rather than the colourful and often white look that it has now. Apple plans to adopt OLED for iPhones from 2018, the Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday without attribution. “Today’s announcement implies that the potential timing of Apple’s adoption of OLED screens is set,” said Claire Kim, an analyst at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

Apple design head Jony Ive has referred to the iOS interface as “old” when compared to the Apple Watch one, and so it is likely that the new iPhones will borrow from the wearable. Apple’s demand for the panels will be strong enough to support more than one big maker, said Kim. “I don’t think the P10 plant alone will entirely cover Apple devices only, so Apple has to turn to Samsung to secure stable production,” she said. He wrote that Apple manufacturers were continuing to invest in LCD screens and that OLED production was still slow, meaning that Apple was unlikely to swap over for the iPhone 7 or 7s. The global OLED market is forecast to climb to $29.1 billion by 2022, from $13 billion this year, the company said in the statement, citing estimates by researcher IHS.

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