Rumors earlier in the year stated that Samsung will produce flexible OLED displays for the iPhone 7 and was planning to invest $7.5 billion dollars in expanding its production capabilities. While there’s still no word on whether or not Samsung has indeed secured that particular contract, the company has just secured more flexible OLED production facilities in South Korea…
Flashbacks and Forecasts: Samsung in 2016
This purchase, making it the largest flexible OLED production base for Samsung Display, represents the second recent investment by Samsung in additional manufacturing facilities for its flexible OLED panels. While it’s likely a little late to be ramping up production for the iPhone 7, industry insiders are claiming Samsung is expanding its production potential now to meet the display demand for the iPhone 8.
Samsung has approached ten OLED manufacturers in its native OLED manufacturing area of Tengjeong in South Chungcheong Province for production facilities worth 400 billion won, or $325.73 million. According to Business Korea, “the production capabilities of the the A3 flexible OLED lines will be doubled from the current 15,000 pieces of mother glass per month to over 30,000 pieces when they complete the supply of the production equipment”.
Compare these figures with reports earlier this year that Samsung would be increasing its output to up to 45,000 panels a month in 2016, and things look to be nicely on track. While we can’t yet definitively say if Samsung is providing flexible OLED displays for the iPhone 7 as well, the company clearly sees massive growth potential for flexible panels into 2018 and beyond.
Meanwhile, although Samsung missed out on the contract to produce the iPhone 7’s A10 chip, a recent earthquake that will undoubtedly affect TSMC’s production capabilities might see Samsung offered a slice of that pie as well. From what I learned in the Steve Jobs movie, Apple launches don’t get delayed.
Just how flexible do you expect flexible phones to get?