[ET NEWS] Samsung Display has failed to finalize the production plans for its new OLED plant amid lukewarm sales of Apple’s iPhone X and slowing demand in China, according to industry sources on April 3.
In 2017, the display-making unit of Samsung Electronics poured almost 4 trillion won (US$3.70 billion) into beefing up OLED production in Korea before the debut of Apple’s first OLED iPhone in September.
Apple iPhone X
Apple likely to cut OLED iPhone production by half this year
The firm transformed LCD production lines into those for OLED, tentatively called the A4 plant, while adding related facilities to an existing A2 plant.
Samsung Display is now poised to produce an additional 60,000 units of sixth-generation OLED panels per month.
Sources say, however, that the plant’s operations could be delayed for up to six months, depending on when Samsung is able to secure new orders from Apple or other Chinese handset makers.
Apple thought it would sell more than 100 million units of the iPhone X, but sales failed to meet these expectations. The target was cut to 90 million units in January, then to 75 million units in February.
Apple has now reportedly decided to nearly halve this year’s new OLED iPhone production to about 55 million units.
Samsung also seems to have failed to properly gauge the OLED demand from China. The firm had inaccurately predicted that Chinese phone makers would turn to OLED after seeing Apple do so, but they appear to be sticking with LCD, which has been getting cheaper by the day.
“Both smartphone makers and panel producers have failed to predict the OLED demand,” an industry source told ET News on condition of anonymity. “Despite the fluctuations, Samsung should have noticed how the Chinese smartphone market was shrinking last year.”
By Bae Ok-jin (email@example.com)
This story was co-produced by ET News and The Investor