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Samsung is spending $9 billion on the iPhone

Published Apr 2nd, 2017 12:00PM EDT

Samsung is pretty upbeat about the Galaxy S8, its first major mobile test after the massive Galaxy Note 7 debacle. While the Galaxy S8 will bring in a ton of cash, Samsung is also be pretty excited about the iPhone 8’s arrival this year, which will be the first Apple smartphone to sport an OLED screen.

A new report from South Korean news site The Investor says Samsung Display is going forward with its plans to expand its OLED production. The company will spend 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion) this year alone on the expansion, according to the site’s sources.

Apple’s decision to move to OLED technology is likely what motivated Samsung Display to go ahead with this massive investment. Apple still continues to set the tone in the mobile market, and other phone makers are expected to follow its “lead” in the near future. Samsung, however, has been using OLED screens in its Galaxy-branded handsets for years, while Apple pushed LCD technology to its limits in its iPhones.

The OLED displays in recent Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models have received rave reviews, offering superior performance when compared with same-year iPhone rivals.

Samsung currently has more than 95% of the market, and that’s why Apple chose Samsung Display as a supplier for its OLED iPhones. Samsung Display rivals are also investing heavily in their OLED display production lines, but Samsung has a huge advantage when it comes to overall production.

Samsung is probably looking to keep Apple’s display business in the coming years and provide OLED screens to other companies as well. The report notes that Chinese smartphone makers are also seeking to utilize OLED screens in their high-end handsets in the future. Samsung is also using OLED screens in 70% of its phones, not just the high-end models.

Recent reports said that Apple and Samsung inked at least two OLED display contracts for a total of 160 million OLED panels. Apple agreed to pay $4.3 billion for 60 million OLED displays, which explains why Samsung’s ready to commit so much money to upgrading its OLED production capacity.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.