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