[THE INVESTOR] LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom on Feb. 20 stressed that demand for liquid crystal displays will remain steady for the next couple of years despite the wider adoption of organic light-emitting diode screens by smartphone makers, including Apple.
LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom (center)
“Apple wouldn’t switch 100 percent to OLED for the time being,” Han told The Investor at a general meeting of the Korea Display Industry Association in Seoul.
“Considering Apple’s annual shipments at about 220 to 330 million iPhones, the plastic OLED would not become the only display type for the new iPhone as well.”
His comments come after LG Display had to eat crow last year when it lost to its rival Samsung Display in a bidding race to supply OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone 8 that is widely rumored to become the first OLED iPhone.
Despite its leadership in larger OLED for TVs, the firm has been struggling to elevate the still low yield rate of its OLED production.
Critics say Apple’s OLED adoption could pose a direct threat to LG Display’s mobile LCD business as an increasing number of smartphone makers, including those in China, are expected to roll out their own versions of OLED smartphones.
The new iPhone is rumored to come in three variants, with the premium OLED model making up almost 30 percent of the total sales.
While maintaining its strong LCD orders, LG Display plans to beef up its OLED production with an aim to start supplying Apple as a secondary supplier.
Asked when to start the mass-production of the mobile OLEDs, the LG Display chief said: “It is hard to disclose the exact time frame but it will probably start in the latter half of this year.”
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)