[ET NEWS] Apple’s upcoming new iPhone, the first flagship smartphone to feature an organic light-emitting diode screen, is expected to secure key parts from Korean suppliers, including the sole panel producer Samsung Display.
The new iPhone that will be launched in September is widely rumored to come in three variants and at least one of the models features an OLED screen.
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Apple usually diversify suppliers for key parts but for the first OLED iPhone some Korean suppliers are expected to provide the parts solely due to their technological sophistication.
Samsung Display, the display-making unit of Samsung Electronics, is the only panel maker globally that mass-produces OLED panels for smartphones. Its market share stands at a whopping 95 percent currently.
Because Apple is still less experienced in OLED, the display maker is said to be playing a key role in the overall supply chain management that consists of its own key parts suppliers.
Samsung’s non-memory chip unit System LSI will supply display driver IC, the display chip for the OLED screen, while STEMCO and LG Innotek will provide the chip on films that connect it to the printed circuit board.
The flexible printed circuit board will be provided by Interflex, BH and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
Samsung’s System LSI is estimated to earn about 480 billion won (US$422 million) from the display driver IC supply to Apple. Considering the unit price of about US$5, about 80 million OLED iPhones are expected to be rolled out this year.
“Apple will seek to diversify suppliers for the OLED model but Samsung Display and its key suppliers will dominate the supply chain for some time,” said an industry source who declined to be named.
For other key parts, Samsung Electronics and SK hynix will supply memory chips, while LG Innotek will supply camera modules.
By Yun Keon-il (firstname.lastname@example.org) (email@example.com)
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