Apple was forced to rely entirely on Samsung for the iPhone X’s OLED screens last year, something which it probably didn’t want to do since the two are sworn rivals. This year was supposed to be different, as the iPhone maker has reportedly teamed up with LG Display to make at least 20% of its panels.
However, it seems LG Display isn’t quite up to the task since the company is apparently struggling to meet Apple’s demands. People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the South Korean firm has been hit by manufacturing problems. This in turn is causing it to fall behind schedule.
Mass production for iPhones typically starts off in July, so LG does have some time left. Over at Apple, opinions are supposedly divided over whether or not LG should be allowed to become a second source of OLED panels for the 2018 series of iPhones.
Sources say Apple has asked LG Display to go through a third round of prototype production, something which most suppliers don’t have to do typically. There might be a good reason behind this, since LG doesn’t have a stellar reputation when it comes to OLED screens for smartphones.
For instance, the LG-made OLED displays on the Google Pixel 2 XL were criticized by many owners who found several faults ranging from excessive screen burn-in to a noticeable blue shift. The brand leads the pack when it comes to OLED TVs, but the tech for phones and TVs are very different. It hasn’t quite been able to nail handsets down.
Apple may just end up handing over LG’s 20% to Samsung after all. It would lose its bargaining power in the process, but word on the street is that the former is demanding price cuts anyway.