Apple Will Not Have to Rely on Samsung Completely for Its OLED Panels Anymore Thanks to Another Player


For months now, Apple has had to rely on its biggest smartphone rival Samsung for its OLED panels for the iPhone X. As we move further into the month of September where we will see two iPhone models touting OLED screens, the company is expected to add more suppliers to its list, and Tianma Microelectronics could be one of them thanks to the latest development. The manufacturer is going to commence production of AMOLED panels and if it can make them according to how Apple wants them, Samsung might lose out on that exclusivity element.

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According to industry insiders, Chinese company Tianma Microelectronics is all set to begin the first phase of the commercial production of its 6G AMOLED panels. Work is expected to start by mid-2018 in the Wuhan facility. Although Chinese companies have made massive investments in OLEDs, so far it has not been sufficient to dethrone Samsung when it comes to OLED display production. However, by taking baby steps, things will take a step in the right direction.

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The first stage of the 6G line can produce around 15,000 glass substrates every month. Work will begin on the second phase of the plant by the end of this year or the first half of the next year and it will have an installed capacity of 30,000 substrates.

In 2017, Tianma shipped nearly 26 million bezel less displays for smartphone applications. Although, this number isn’t impressive when compared to the number of units Samsung Display is able to produce, Tianma did manage to do better in the LCD market as the company was one of the top providers of all screen LCD panels in 2017.

With the new 6G AMOLED line, Tianma will be able to sell around 3 million all-screen smartphone displays a month this year. Out of this, 55 percent will be LTPS-based panels, 30 percent will be a-Si panels, and 5-10 percent will be AMOLED. Tianma’s 5.5G and 6G LTPS fabs are currently operating at full capacity and have a production capacity of 30,000 substrates a month, respectively.

With a new player in the market, companies like Apple will no longer have to rely on Samsung alone to source OLED panels. Owing to a large-scale factory, Samsung Display is able to achieve economies of scale. However, as Tianma and other Chinese companies expand their production, they will learn how to ensure stability and a high yield.

News Source: DigiTimes