Apple and Samsung Display Close to Inking OLED Contract

A report from Korean media ET News pointed out that Samsung Display will be supplying flexible OLEDs for the next generation Apple iPhones.

The Korean company is expected to invest US $7.47 billion into the plant and equipment investment.

Citing information obtained from industry insiders on Wednesday, Samsung Display and Apple are close to sealing the OLED display supply contract for upcoming iPhones. Samsung Display will supply the majority of flexible OLED panels that will replace Low-Temperature Polysilicon LCD screens found on current phone models.

The report went on pointing out Samsung Display has decided to invest US$2.49 billion and $3.32 billion for plant and equipment this year to expand current facilities, and will probably start receiving orders from Apple from end of first quarter at the earliest. Market rumors point that the investments will bring its OLED production capacity to 30,000 sheets to 45,000 sheets per month.

Another plan of adding 45,000 sheets per month production capacity in 2017 that was also included in the contract, if combined with the 2016 expansion plan the company is estimated to invest in total $6.64 billion to $7.47 billion in production expansion.

On top of its Apple contract, Samsung Display is also rumored to vamp up production OLED production capacity for its Galaxy model smartphones and supplies to Chinese manufacturers to 15,000 sheets per month. This would raise Samsung Display’s production capacity investments this year to more than $830 million.

The article went on noting Samsung Display’s second biggest shareholder display front-end process equipment specialist AP System, has recently made a so-called “Black Public Announcement.”

The announcement made on Monday by the OLED equipment maker refrained from revealing client details related to certain contracts, due to its client’s confidentiality requests. The privacy agreement will be lifted on March 30, 2016, five months before the contract expires on Aug. 15, 2016.

Industry insiders believe AP System made the announcement because it is involved in supplying flexible OLEDs to Samsung Display for Apple, who also happens to be one of its major clients.

“It is common that contracts are made by splitting sizes of supplies so that businesses can be excluded from public announcements due to requests for privacy regarding contracts with Apple.” said a person related to display industry. “It seems that AP System made such public announcement because Samsung Display needs to first secure LLO and ELA equipment from AP System.”

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