Apple may have settled its long-running legal dispute over intellectual property with arch-rival Samsung, but the internal struggle to replace the chaebol as a key supplier of essential iPhone parts is far from over.
After solely handling display production for the first-ever OLED “iDevice” last year, the world’s number one smartphone vendor is widely expected to take the lead on both the 5.8 and 6.5-inch sequels of the coming fall.
But following months of uncertainty, LG has reportedly landed a supporting role manufacturing between 2 and 4 million OLED panels “initially”, which could pave the way for an extended collaboration in 2019 and beyond.
The deal is not done yet, as the rumored shipment still needs to clear “two layers of approval.” But if LG’s sharper screens do manage to meet Apple’s strict quality requirements in the first stage of certification, tipped for July, there’s probably no turning back.
Two to four million units also sounds like a drop in the ocean, and a much smaller figure than the one rumored back in January, but once added to the official supplier roster, LG Display could always ramp up production.
To date, the LCD-first company has joined forces with Google and Huawei to try to catch up to the crushing dominator of the OLED market. The LG V30 and V35 ThinQ also provide superior image clarity compared to the G6 and G7 ThinQ, although not everyone is a fan of the price gap between the two flagship families.