Beginning in March 2020, LG Display is scheduled to begin setting up equipment at its E6 line for producing touch-integrated Touch-on-Cell (ToC) OLED panels for Apple’s iphones due out in the latter half of this year, industry sources said on Feb. 21.
Since 2019, LG Display has been mass -producing ToC OLED panels. From its E5 line in Gumi of North Gyeongsang Province, the display maker has produced such screens for Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro. LGD is also providing the same type of panels for Huawei’s P40 Pro to be revealed next month.
LGD is currently using equipment from Jusung Engineering, ICD and Avaco at its E5 plant. The same suppliers are expected to be used at the E6 line, which exclusively produces ToC OLED panels for Apple.
ToC OLED was first commercialized by Samsung Display under the name YOUM for PI flexible OLED and OCTA for the rigid glass panels.
“It’s unlike Apple to rely on a single source, but LGD seems to be offering that much of an edge,” said one industry watcher close to the matter. “Samsung Display has the upper hand in this technology, but others are joining the race.”
Apple will be applying ToC panels to its iPhones this year, along with the add-on Touch Screen Panels (TSP). Since applying flexible OLEDs for the first time in 2017, Apple has been adhering to TSF.
Meanwhile, Samsung Display will finish refurbishing the on-cell touch OLED production lines for the A3 plant at its Asan2 Campus. The monthly capacity the firm is aiming for is up to 60,000 of Gen-6 panels.
More and more smartphones maker have been opting for ToC OLED panels, including CSOT of China, which is using equipment from Japan’s Canon and companies in Korea such as Wonik IPOS and HB Technology.
On the other hand, suppliers like Nissha and Nitto that supplied equipment for Apple’s add-on TSPwill be losing some business, industry watchers noted. In January this year, Nissha withdrew from a joint venture with Chinese glass processing firm Lens, citing slowing smartphone sales. Nissha incurred 1.5 billion yen (KRW 16.2 billion) of losses during this process.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.