Apple Begins to Select Its Partners for OLED iPhone’s Components and Materials

Aug 26, 2016

Apple has begun to select its partners that will develop components and materials that will be used for Apple’s next iPhone and it is predicted that these components and materials will be produced starting from May of next year. Apple’s next iPhone will have an OLED display for the first time. Because it is predicted that Apple will let go of most of its current partners, businesses are fiercely competing each other to win orders from Apple.
According to multiple electronic component industries on the 25th, it is confirmed that Apple is looking for components and materials that will be used for OLED iPhone.
After selecting Samsung Display in first half of this year to be the supplier of OLED display, Apple is currently looking for suppliers of FPCB (Flexible Printed Circuit Board) that will be used for OLED display. Not only is Apple looking at performance and qualities of possible partners’ products but it is looking at everything such as supply capability and situation of management very closely.
“We are currently pushing to supply our new products for OLED iPhone.” said a representative for a component industry. “It seems that a decision will be made during fourth quarter.”
Apple is also looking for suppliers of materials that will be used to compose OLED displays. “We are looking to supply our materials to Apple and it seems like we will receive a decision in September or October.” said a representative for an OLED material industry.
It is expected that OLED iPhone will be released in fall of next year. New iPhone that is expected to be released this year is also not released yet.
A reason why Apple is already looking for components and suppliers for its next iPhone in one year advanced is because it needs time to prepare for mass-production. Partners also need to set up plans for investments and production to produce new components and materials.
Because most of Smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics also prepare design and specifications of technologies for their new models in one year advanced, this movement made by Apple is not unusual. A reason why Apple is receiving so much attention in midst of this is because it has enormous impact on rear-end industries since yearly sales of iPhones reaches 200 million.
Yearly sales of 200 million iPhones are equivalent to Smartphone OLEDs that were sold in global markets last year. There are also predictions that believe that display industries that are centered on LCD will rapidly change to industries that are centered on OLED.
Fact that Apple is choosing OLED display indicates that it is trying to newly establish a supply network that is different from current supply network for LCD. Opportunities that were not existed before are now available for components and materials manufacturers.
It is expected that Apple will start to use more OLED displays for its other products such as iPad. If a company becomes part of Apple’s supply network, it will receive huge amount of benefits and abilities to occupy markets in advance in the future.
It is heard that Apple is planning to source major components starting from May of next year. It is going to select its partners during fourth quarter of this year and start ordering and producing components during second quarter of next year.
As Apple is starting to establish a supply chain, outline of OLED iPhone is starting to be revealed.
According to an industry, it is heard that Apple is currently developing 4.8-inch and 5.5-inch OLED displays. These sizes are almost identical to sizes of current iPhones (6S and 6S Plus). However it is not sure whether or not Apple will release both sizes. Some predict that Apple will first apply OLED displays to high-priced models according to its premium strategy and release those models first.
It is heard that design of OLED iPhone is going to be in a form of ‘dual-edge’ that has both of its sides bent. Although dual-edge was applied by Samsung Electronics on Galaxy Note S7 and Note 7, Apple is expected to differentiate its design by changing curvature and others.
Staff Reporter Yun, Keonil | benyun@etnews.com & Staff Reporter Lee, Jongjun | 1964winter@etnews.com

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