Apple will now rely on two of its biggest competitors to help build its iPhones.
The new partnership, if true, is particularly interesting because LG’s organic light-emitting diode (aka OLED) phone screens have received mediocre-quality reviews, even though its television OLED screens have been lauded.
The iPhone X was the first Apple phone to incorporate OLED screens, and a report released last month said that Apple plans to use OLED screens for all its 2019 iPhone models.
The reason Apple wants to use these screens is pretty clear: OLED screens have a faster response time, higher picture quality, and better power efficiency than regular LCD screens. Apple partnered with Samsung — its chief competitor that had been producing OLED screens for years — in 2016 to incorporate this higher-quality tech.
Apple’s sole reliance on Samsung for OLED screens, however, skyrocketed the iPhone X’s price, which started at $1,000. Apple’s new partnership with LG (one of its other largest competitors) will probably serve as a bargaining chip. It should hopefully lower production costs, and there’s an outside chance that the savings will be passed down to consumers.
Apple’s new business deal comes on the heels of LG possibly opening a new OLED production factory in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou.
LG is waiting for an expansion green light from the Chinese government (the proposal is expected to get approved), and it plans to produce 130,000 OLED plates there each month. These sheets are essentially like sheets of cookie dough, which will then be cut into the needed shapes and sizes.
LG’s OLED screens are slated to appear on iPhone models that Apple releases this year, according to Bloomberg.