Samsung Electronics and Apple are set to discuss new component partnerships later today, industry insiders said on Thursday. Kwon Oh-hyun, Vice Chairman of the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer, is said to be visiting the United States this week and has scheduled a meeting with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant over a number of partnerships related to Apple's supply channels. Kwon is reportedly attending the meeting with Apple on behalf of Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Group's Vice Chairman and heir apparent that is currently in custody due to an ongoing trial related to corruption charges brought against the Korean chaebol in the aftermath of a massive political scandal that shook the entirety of the Far Eastern country.
Apart from taking over Lee's duties, Kwon also oversees Samsung Display, the conglomerate's display panel-making division that's also the largest manufacturer of mobile OLED screens in the world. That particular branch of the company is likely going to be one of the subjects of the upcoming meeting, with Apple reportedly looking to secure a stable supply of OLED screens for future iPhone generations and the upcoming iPhone 8 series already being equipped with OLED panels manufactured by Samsung, thus being set to become the first Apple-made phones utilizing that display technology. It's currently unclear what other components Kwon and Apple might be discussing later today, though the two are likely to come to an agreement regarding future OLED supply, industry watchers believe, noting that Samsung is already set to ship 100 million OLED panels to Apple in the second half of 2017.
While the two tech giants are collaborating on the manufacturing front, their consumer electronics divisions remain fierce rivals, with the Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note lineup being one of the few true flagship families in the world that can rival iPhones. The Seoul-based chaebol is reportedly looking to launch the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 in late August in an effort to beat the 10th anniversary iPhone models to the market and improve their commercial performance, though Apple is still expected to beat many sales records with its next flagships. An update on Samsung's product portfolio and business endeavors will likely follow in the coming weeks.