One more than rival Samsung Display
LG Display was currently developing two models of OLED panels that it aiming to supply to Apple’s iPads launching in the future, TheElec has learned.
LG Display was developing 12.9-inch and 11-inch models, sources said. The company was the exclusive developer of the 12.9-inch model, they said.
Samsung Display is also working on developing its own version for the 11-inch model, they added, as previously reported by TheElec.
Apple is planning to apply a two-stack tandem structure for the OLED panels it will use for future iPad models. The first iPads to sport OLED panels are expected to launch in 2024.
Cupertino is also planning to apply low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistors (TFT) on these panels.
Two-stack tandem OLED panels have two emission layers instead of one used in single stack OLED panels.
This allows these panels to have double the brightness and a four times longer life span compared to single stack OLED panels.
LTPO TFT, meanwhile, is a technology currently widely used in OLED panels of flagship smartphones by Apple and Samsung that offers 120Hz variable refresh rate.
LG Display’s handling the development of two OLED panels aimed at iPads puts it at an advantage over Samsung Display in Apple’s display panel supply chain for iPads.
This is different from the display panel supply chain for iPhones, where Samsung Display is dominant and LG Display, along with Chinese competitor BOE, are playing catch-up.
LG Display is likely handling more iPad OLED projects as it has more experience in manufacturing OLED panels with a two-stack tandem structure than Samsung Display.
LG Display had been using the two-stack tandem structure for the OLED panels it produces for automotive applications for years now.
Samsung Display just started the development of its own two-stack tandem structure tech and is developing materials sets called the T series for this.
However, Samsung Display could decide to be more aggressive in building dedicated OLED production lines for iPads and outspend LG Display, so it remains to be seen which company will win more orders for the panels from Apple.
Both Samsung Display and LG Display, for the time being, are planning to use their existing Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) OLED lines to manufacture these OLED panels for iPads.
However, both companies are working on their respective Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) production technologies to accommodate larger substrates in the production of these panels, which will make it more cost-effective for them.
BOE is yet to take part in any iPad OLED panel with Apple at the current time.
The company is however planning to design the third phase of its B12 factory to accommodate a two-stack tandem structure, though there has been no recorded equipment order as of yet for this.