Samsung Display is seeking for a stable long-term contract with new and trustworthy major customer for its OLED displays, and has reportedly in talks with Apple to supply OLEDs for future iPhones.
"Samsung Display has recently renewed talks with Apple to supply its small-sized OLED displays for the next iPhones to be released in a few years, which I believe is around 2018," an industry executive told The Korea Times last week. Apple's Retina HD displays used in current iPhones are LED-backlit (LCD) screens.
Despite the advantages of OLEDs over LCDs, their high manufacturing cost have kept Apple from using them. Apple obviously wants to keep its margins as high as possible.
Samsung Display-manufactured OLED displays have so far been used in all Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphones. But the company has been also approaching Chinese handset vendors to cut its heavy reliance on Samsung Electronics' handset division.
The company also supplies LCD panels for Apple's iPads, with a small amount for current iPhones.
Samsung Display's moves are expected to intensify rivalry with LG Display, which is the main display supplier for Apple iPhones.
Despite the current advantages that LCD have, the display industry in which Korea has long been a leader, needs new momentum for further growth. Prices are being brought down and other technological issues are rapidly being addressed. If Apple adopt OLED technology in its next iPhones, this will benefit the entire ecosystem in the global display industry.