According to CIRP data from the US market research agency, the most popular mobile phone in the US market in the second quarter of this year was the iPhone 8 Plus, with a market share of 24%, followed by iPhone X with a 17% share and the iPhone 8 at 13%. According to analysis, compared with the specifications of the LCD panel, the iPhone X is not cost-effective, resulting in poor sales. The iPhone 8 series is priced at $699-799, while the iPhone X is priced at $999-1149. The difference between the two is as high as $450, but apart from the picture quality, the quality difference between the two phones is not large. This is the main reason why iPhone X is left out.
As the iPhone X's sales did not meet expectations, Apple's strategy began to make a sharp turn, and the new iPhone screen, which was decided to be launched in 2019, will still maintain OLED and LCD dual-track. The turnaround of Apple's mobile phone panel will affect the career conversion speed and investment pace of panel manufacturers such as LGD and Samsung Display.
LGD is ready for both hands, human configuration is a problem
Previously, LGD predicted that Apple will use OLED panels on the iPhone that will be launched in 2019. To this end, LGD has gradually converted small-size LCD panel developers into OLED panel developers. According to relevant sources, "LGD has agreed with the LCD developer at Gumi, because Apple only uses OLED panels on the new iPhone, and the future LCD developers of Gumi will be converted to OLED developers such as Paju."
According to industry sources, LGD will begin production of the flexible OLED production line E6-1 in Paju in the fourth quarter of this year. E6 is called “Apple-specific production line”. The production capacity of the production line is 15,000 pieces per month. In addition, the Gumi E5 production line and the Pazhou E2 production line have been produced, and the production capacity of LGD small and medium-sized OLED panels will be 35,000. sheet. According to an agreement between LGD and Apple, LGD will begin supplying OLED panels to Apple in the second half of 2018 to produce the next generation of iPhone devices.
As the E6 factory's yield rate increases, LG Display may ensure that most of Apple's 6.5-inch OLED panel orders will be in 2019, while at the same time, it will increase its OLED panel shipments to 10 million units this year.
However, with the development of Apple's mobile phone panel strategy, LGD has developed a small number of small and medium-sized LCD panels. The speed of the transfer to the OLED sector has become unclear. The lack of human development in OLED panels will cause LGD to fall into the dilemma of increasing OLED manpower. Because if Apple suddenly decides not to launch an iPhone with an LCD panel, small-size LCD developers will become redundant.
In addition, LGD has promised to develop the LCD panel of the LGD Gumi Plant. In 2019, it will transfer to the Paju Panel Park to develop OLEDs. However, due to Apple's request to develop new LCD panels for the iPhone, this move may cause dissatisfaction and uneasiness among R&D personnel.