OLED Displays for All New iPhones in 2018? Sharp & JDI Might Find It Heart-Pounding

It has been spreading like crazy that in 2H17 three iPhone models- the high-end iPhone 8 featuring an OLED display, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus that continue to use LCD displays- will hit the shelves. Latest sources leaked Apple might increase OLED display use in its products and all the three new iPhones to roll out in 2018 are likely to sport OLED displays. That possibly implies orders Apple places with LCD display providers Sharp and Japan Display Inc. (JDI) would plummet. It will be much of a shock to JDI which earns over 50% of its revenue from Apple’s phone screen demand.

(Image: Japan Display Inc.)

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Apple has been working on the development of the three iPhones it plans to sell in 2H18 and wanting to equip them with OLED displays. 

It is also reported that Samsung will be the sole OLED display provider for the new 2018 iPhone 8 but LG Display will join in after 2018. Considering Samsung’s overall OLED capacity, the OLED behemoth might struggle to help the Cupertino carry out its plan. It is still hard to tell now whether Apple can really use OLED displays in all the three iPhones.

On the other hand, LCD display providers JDI and Sharp might receive a lot fewer orders, most notably with the influence on JDI, of which over half of the revenue comes from Apple. Both of them claimed they are accelerating their development of OLED display, yet unsure about the time they can actually mass produce it. It needs at least three years to catch up with Samsung’s OLED technology, told an insider.

However, JDI and Sharp should be able to continue its LCD offerings to old iPhones in 2018 and 2019. The sales of iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will continue to 2019.

A financial result JDI announced early on 21st June reported Apple contributed to 53.8% (JPY 457.8 billion) and Huawei accounted for 12.9% (JPY 114.1 billion).

The Investor reported in May that Samsung Display signed an agreement with Apple on the offerings of OLED displays to the new iPhone coming out in 2018, temporarily named iPhone 9. In April, the two companies were said to sign a two-year contract on the OLED supply.

The iPhone 9, as the report described, is anticipated to feature two display sizes-5.28 and 6.46 inches, suggesting Samsung’s OLED shipment in 2018 will reach 180 million units.

Sources told that 40% of the iPhones to be launched in late 2017 will sport OLED displays and Apple’s consumption of OLED panels in 2018 will double to 80%. Then, in 2019, the OLED screen will be one of iPhone’s standard features. 

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