Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The 2018 iPhone might be doubly bad news for Samsung

Published Jul 13th, 2018 6:49PM EDT
iPhone X 2018 vs. Samsung
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 9 very early this year, and Apple’s iPhone supposedly has a role in that. Samsung is looking to beat Apple to market with new products this fall, with the new Note supposed to be available in stores about a month before the three 2018 iPhone X successors launch.

The fact that it has to compete against a better generation of iPhones that will be more affordable than the iPhone X isn’t Samsung’s only worry. A new report indicates that Apple has one more blow for Samsung.

Samsung must have been a strong supporter of the first iPhone X, as the more money Apple made selling the phone, the more money Samsung made selling OLED panels to Apple. At $110 per screen, the OLED deal is highly lucrative, but also a reason why the iPhone is so expensive.

Many reports last year said that a variety of screen manufacturers are investing in OLED display production lines to take on Samsung Display and potentially steal some of Apple’s orders.

For months now, LG has been rumored to be inching closer to an OLED deal with Apple, which would help the iPhone maker both negotiate better prices with Samsung and reduce its reliance on its biggest rival.

A new report from Korea’s Newspim, relayed by Digitimes, says that LG has indeed won OLED panel orders from Apple.

LG has been tasked to manufacture 20 million LCD screens for the iPhone in 2018, as well as 3 million to 4 million OLED displays for the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus.

What hurts Samsung here is that OLED contract, which means that Samsung won’t be the exclusive supplier of OLED screen for the iPhone going forward.

The report also notes that LG Display is likely to secure the majority of 6.5-inch OLED screens for 2019, and should ramp up OLED production to 10 million units.

What’s great for LG, and not so much for Samsung, is that Apple is practically telling the world that LG’s OLED screens are just as good as Samsung. Otherwise, they would not equip Samsung. That should help LG win more business from other Android device makers. LG, of course, provided the OLED screens for the Pixel 2 XL last year, a device that was plagued by screen quality issues right after launch. At least one Pixel 3 model should pack LG OLED screens. Hopefully, the next-gen kind.

Samsung will probably be the sole supplier of 5.8-inch OLED screens going forward. Apple will launch three new iPhones this year, including a 6.1-inch LCD model (iPhone 9?), a 5.8-inch OLED model (iPhone X), and a 6.5-inch OLED model (iPhone X Plus).

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.