In switching to OLED panels for the iPhone 8, Apple entered into an unexpected working relationship with Samsung—the only company capable of providing the volume of displays Apple needs. But Apple is in a desperate search for another company to ween its dependence on Samsung.
The new comes from a new KGI analyst note from Ming-Chi Kuo. With Apple solely relying on Samsung for OLED displays, it has put all the power in Samsung’s hands, according to Kuo.
Samsung is charging Apple somewhere between $130 to $140 for the OLED displays destined for the iPhone 8. That’s a big increase over the $45 to $55 price tag for the LCD panels inside the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple is not happy with this dynamic.
“Apple is in urgent need of finding a second source of OLED,” relates Kuo. But at the moment, no other company seems to be up to the task. LG just jumped back into mobile OLED displays with the V30, but it can’t supply Apple with the millions of displays it needs.
Regardless, Apple is investing $2 billion into LG Display, so the Korean company could one day become that second partner Apple is desperately looking for.
It’s difficult to describe the relationship between Apple and Samsung. It’s both a bitter rivalry and a mutual understanding for what each can provide for the other company. For right now, Apple is forced to do business with Samsung and it’s raking in a high profit.