Samsung Display will be the exclusive supplier used by Apple for organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels used in the two highest tier models of its next iPhone, TheElec has learned.
Both models of iPhone 13 will use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistors (TFT) OLED panels made by Samsung Display.
Apple’s iPhone 13 will have four models and all of them will use OLED panels. The top two models will use LTPO OLED that can support 120Hz refresh rate.
LG Display won’t be able to supply its LTPO OLED to Apple for iPhones this year but it is in development for it to aim at supplying them in 2022.
Samsung Display supplied LTPO OLED for the first time for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note20 Ultra last year. Samsung calls the technology Adaptive Frequency or hybrid oxide and polycrystalline silicon (HOP).
Samsung Display is looking to transfer some of its A3 line at Asan for LTPO TFT. The line has a production capacity of 105,000 sheets per month. Around 60,000 of that will be transferred to LTPO TFT.
Apple is planning to use LTPO OLED for all its iPhone models launching late in 2022.
LG Display had requested that it take part in LTPO for iPhone 13 and Apple had accepted this. It is advantageous for Apple to have LG Display secure LTPO OLED technology so that it can reduce its reliance in Samsung Display for them.
LG Display was currently building a 5,000 sheets per month LTPO TFT line at its E6 line in Paju. The company will put in equipment for 10,000 sheets per month in the first half of 2021 and another 10,000 sheets per month in the second half. It is aiming to secure a capacity of 25,000 sheets per month by the end of 2021.
LTPO TFT takes around 2 weeks longer to make compared to conventional OLED panel production. LTPO TFT adds an oxide process in TFT production to the previous low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) process.
Last year, Samsung Display was the sole supplier of on-cell OLED panels for the iPhone 12 series __ the 5.1-inch iPhone 12 Mini and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max used the method. All models of iPhone 13 will use on-cell OLEDs.