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Samsung Is Reportedly Trying To Sell OLED Displays For iPhones

November 25, 2015 - Written By Muni Perez

The world of business is beautiful and at the same time tricky to understand. You probably know that Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest corporate rivals we have ever seen, as they fight fiercely to make you choose between a Galaxy or an iPhone, tablets and more. The last few years they have been involved in lawsuits worth hundreds of millions of dollars – Apple wanted almost $3 billion, but it didn’t happen. However, despite the competition, Apple and Samsung are actually business partners when regarding the Cupertino company electronic devices, as Samsung manufactures several components for both the iPhone and iPad. Along all these years, Samsung has been producing processors, flash storage and RAM, and the displays. As for today, Samsung is responsible for some of the processors found in the latest iPhones, as well as a small amount of traditional LCD displays for the iPhone, and a certain number of iPad Pro LCD panels. As you can see, supplying displays for Apple is a good business for Samsung Displays, the giant’s display arm. According to a recent report from a Korean website, Samsung has recently approached Apple to supply their OLED displays for the upcoming generations of iPhones.

If you are unfamiliar with the OLED term, it means Organic Light Emitting Diode (Organic LED), which differs significantly from traditional LCD displays. All Samsung phones and tablets come with an OLED display made by Samsung called Super AMOLED, but that’s about it, as most smartphones today still come with LCD displays, including the iPhone, which sells hundreds of millions of units every year. The basic difference between OLED and LCD for the end user is that the former lights up individual pixels, so blacks are “blacker”, because their pixels are actually off – and this saves some battery, and the color fidelity is also slightly better, while LCD is cheaper and has been around for a long time.

Back to Samsung and Apple, if the Korean company manages to catch this pie, it will mean huge business for both Samsung Display and the OLED market as a whole as other phone manufacturers are likely to follow Apple in adopting OLED technology. It will also mean bad news for LG display since they are currently the leading display supplier for current iPhones. LG also has its own OLED technology, and the company is investing hard in factories and manufacturing technology. OLED displays are still more expensive than traditional LCD, but with Apple jumping on board, the prices are expected to drop in the future. However, according to officials from display manufacturing companies, it is unlikely that Apple will switch to AMOLED anytime soon, as it wants to keep its margins high. Samsung has also approached other top Chinese manufacturers to provide them with OLED displays in order to reduce Samsung Display reliance on Samsung Electronics. LG is also in the business as recent reports indicate that Xiaomi may be buying panels from LG Display for next year devices. If Samsung manages to convince Apple to jump on OLED, it may happen only in 2018 and on.