There has been long running speculation that Apple will be purchasing OLED display panels from its smartphone rival Samsung for use in its next iPhone. The latest reports from South Korea are now suggesting that Samsung is looking to provide Apple with 100 million panels for the handset, possibly for a number of years.
According to one report, Samsung Display has signed a deal to supply 100 million 5-inch OLED panels to Apple each year. The agreement is apparently worth 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) and production is said to commence in the second quarter of 2017, running for three years. This volume would certainly cover Apple’s annual expected global iPhone sales each year. However, separate reports suggest that Apple is resistant to committing to purchasing displays from Samsung for the next three years.
Displays wouldn’t be the only component that Samsung supplies to Apple, Samsung has been supplying memory chips for iPhones for a while now. Although the company missed out on the contract to produce the iPhone 7’s A10 chip.
As part of the deal, Samsung is expected to expand is current A3 production line to meet this extra demand. The A3 plant, which is located in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, could see its production capacity increase from 15,000 sheets to 30,000 panels per month, following a 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) investment.
Samsung is no stranger to selling its display panels to rival smartphone manufacturers. A small number of handsets have already appeared this year sporting Samsung’s dual edge AMOLED display, which features in the company’s own Galaxy S7 Edge flagship. A deal with Apple will certainly result in huge demand and further boost Samsung Display’s earnings.
Samsung declined to comment on the deal.