South Korean rivals Samsung and LG are both planning large-scale increases of their AMOLED display manufacturing capacities, each for their own reason, industry insiders report. Flexible OLED panels, in particular, are seeing a manufacturing spike due to their wide range of possible uses. Samsung, for their part, recently managed to secure a two-year contract with Apple, presumably to supply displays for the next two generations of iPhones. This demand will, of course, exist on top of their own manufacturing needs. Meanwhile, LG is ramping up their flexible OLED manufacturing capacity to implement the products into their own future smartphones. Samsung's domestic rival also recently secured a contract with Sony to supply OLED panels for their TVs.
The expansion of manufacturing capacities the two firms are planning is reportedly going to be a drastic one; between the two of them, 2020 is rumored to see a combined 16.069 million square meters of annual capacity. This massive increase represents just about triple the capacity that they had in 2016. At that point, the two tech giants boasted a combined manufacturing capacity of 5.067 million square meters of AMOLED display panels, including flexible and static AMOLED panels. Of that 2016 annual capacity, 2.111 million square meters were dedicated to panels that were the right size for use in smartphones. That number is projected to increase to 11.784 million square meters by 2020.
Samsung is currently enjoying a lot of publicity and is recording a large number of pre-orders for its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus flagship phones that are scheduled to be released later this month. On top of that, Apple is rumored to be fully transitioning to AMOLED displays for their iPhones in the near future, and there has been talk of a 5.8-inch iPhone model coming out soon. Meanwhile, LG is reportedly already working on its upcoming V30 flagship and has an ongoing OLED contract with Sony. It should be noted, though, that their contract with Sony is for TVs, and their manufacturing capacity increases are primarily in the area of screens that are meant to be used for smartphones and tablets. Regardless, an update on the situation will likely follow soon.