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Afraid of Apple hogging all the OLED screens, top China vendors cooperate to establish new supply chain

Experts believe there will be a component shortage for flexible OLED panels in 2017 and beyond. (Source: LG)
Experts believe there will be a component shortage for flexible OLED panels in 2017 and beyond. (Source: LG)
Chinese smartphone vendors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and BBK are working together with Royole, specialist in thin, flexible panels, to secure a new OLED supply chain.

Apple's rumored order (reported by the Chinese edition of the WSJ) this April of 100 million OLED panels from Samsung for delivery in 2017-2018 seems to have spooked the leading Chinese vendors into action. As a result, Chinese smartphone vendors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and BBK are working together with Royole, specialist in thin, flexible panels, to secure a new OLED supply chain in China.

The leading suppliers of OLED displays are currently Samsung and LG. However, it seems that Samsung won the rumored exclusive contract from Apple to supply their OLED panels, according to the Financial Times. The sheer volume of displays ordered by Apple are worrying for other vendors who are afraid they might not get their share of the OLED pie. To put things in perspective, Royole hopes to achieve a production volume of 45,000 units per month in 2017-18. Samsung's monthly OLED panel production is reportedly already around 9 million units.

If Apple is the exclusive recipient of Samsung's OLED manufacturing capacity, it will likely cause an industry-wide supply crunch around 2018-2020, when OLED adoption by Apple is expected to hit full swing.

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Douglas Black, 2016-12- 4 (Update: 2016-12- 4)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - News Editor
I am a university Lecturer and researcher in English writing, but I like to keep myself busy. Between weightlifting, MMA, and SCUBA diving, one of my life-long interests has always been computers. I used Macs until about 17 years ago when I switched to PCs because of an interest in games, but I'm still interested in top quality laptops that push the design envelope.