Apple will be sourcing OLED panels for the upcoming Apple Watch 5 from the struggling Japan Display. If the move goes ahead as planned, this would be the first time that Japan Display would supply OLED panels to Apple.
The company has been struggling to set up its OLED production facility which led to it losing out on orders from Apple. The increasing popularity of OLED panels among smartphone makers and the declining demand for LCD panels has not helped the company either.
Japan Display Inc will begin to supply organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the Apple Watch later this year, two sources said, a breakthrough for the cash-strapped company whose late shift to OLED has cost it orders from Apple.
Japan Display already supplies Apple with LCD panels for the 2018 iPhone XR and it is expected to continue doing so for the 2019 iPhone XR as well.
Apple has so far reportedly been sourcing OLED panels for the Apple Watch series from LG. For iPhones though, Apple has to stick to Samsung Display as other display makers like LG Display and BOE have simply been unable to scale up their OLED production facilities.
BOE and LG Display have supplied OLED panels to other Android OEMs but have been unable to do so for Apple as their OLED panel quality is notably lower than that of Samsung. Apple is expected to switch entirely to OLED panels for its 2020 iPhone lineup and it remains to be seen if it will solely source OLED panels from Samsung or other suppliers would be able to ramp up their OLED production facilities by then.
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