Samsung is speculated to make a lot of cash from sales of Apple’s iPhone X. Like, a lot. The reason is that Samsung supplies a number of the phone’s components — notably its curved OLED display. It no doubt pains Apple to have to work with its closest smartphone competitor in this way, but seemingly, it is out of reasonable alternatives.
Though Samsung is currently dominating the mobile OLED market, it’s yet to commercialize flexible OLED displays. In that sphere, LG has been making moves and has the potential to get ahead, which could be why Apple may be looking to tap LG’s services for a future smartphone product.
According to a report from The Bell (via The Investor), Apple will use flexible screens supplied by LG Display for an upcoming folding smartphone. Meanwhile, LG’s Innotek business is already said to be gearing up to produce the rigid flexible printed circuit boards, or RFPCBs, that would feature inside the phones.
Apparently, The Bell‘s sources said that Apple would be seeking to release this device in 2020, which could give competitors like Samsung and LG itself a head-start. These OEMs have long-since been speculated to release a foldable phone but are still yet to do so. Speculation has recently been mounting, however, and it seems like 2018 could see the first of them take off.
This new report follows rumors from July which suggested that Apple could invest as much as $2.6 billion in support of LG’s new OLED plant (a deal which The Investor notes still hasn’t been finalized).
Both Apple’s work on a folding phone and partnership with LG on future display remain rumors for now — but with flexible phones on the horizon, and manufacturers seeking ways to stop Samsung’s display dominance, the speculation isn’t without merit.