Is Apple setting itself up OLED panel production?

- Adrian Ungureanu

Apple has purchased evaporators from Korea-based Sunic System to build a 2.5G OLED panel line to develop related technology and products in Taiwan.

Rumors has it that Apple wants developing its own OLED technology in order to reduce its dependence on Samsung Electronics for the supply of OLED panels, while enabling it for product differentiation.

Apple’s move will break the dominant position held by Japan-based Canon Kokki in the evaporator market, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report. Canon Tokki is currently the primary supplier of evaporators and ships the bulk of its output to Samsung.

Samsung has bought five sets of OLED manufacturing equipment from Canon Tokki so far in 2017 and has signed contracts to buy five out of 10 such machines to be rolled out by the Japan-based machinery company in 2018, said the Commercial Times.

LG Display also purchased two evaporators from Canon Tokki in the first half of 2017 and has begun shipping its OLED panels to Xiaomi Technology and Google, said the paper, noting that LGD’s OLED panels have not yet been validated by Apple.