Apple has partnered with LG Display to develop display units for foldable iPhones. LG Display has created a task force to perform the action. Its sister concern, LG Innotek, is developing a Rigid-Flexible, Printed Circuit Board to be used in OLED Displays. The reason behind choosing LG is Apple’s concern that there might be a potential leak of technology information to its rival, Samsung Electronics.
The production is expected to start in 2020, meaning Apple will be behind Samsung in launching foldable iPhones. Samsung is clearly the leader in OLED panels and is the sole supplier of OLED for current iPhone X models. Samsung will also be the sole supplier for next year’s iPhone models.
As Samsung had a monopoly in mobile OLED manufacturing, Apple had built strong ties with LG, its long-term LCD supplier.
LG has a manufacturing facility known as E5 for its initial OLED production in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province. The first set of OLED phones will be sent to LG Electronics and a few Chinese mobile manufacturers. Production for iPhones will start in 2019 in a new plant known as E6, which is in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, and is currently under construction.
Apple is planning to invest in the E6 plant to quicken the pace of OLED production. The two companies have agreed in principle to co-invest but the details are yet to be chalked out.