According to reports out of South Korea, Samsung will become the exclusive supplier of LTPO OLED displays for the “Pro” models in the Apple iPhone 13 series later this year. According to reports, Apple iPhone 13 will have four models, all using OLED panels. Among them, Apple iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models will use low-temperature polysilicon (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED panels produced by Samsung Display, which support a 120Hz refresh rate.
LG Display cannot supply Apple with its LTPO OLED for iPhone this year. However, it is under development and strives to supply it in 2022. Samsung Display supplied LTPO OLEDs for Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for the first time last year. The company calls this technology adaptive frequency or mixed oxide and polysilicon (HOP).
Samsung Display is seeking to transfer part of its A3 production line in Asan for the production of LTPO TFT. The monthly production capacity of this production line is 105,000 pieces. Of this figure, about 60,000 pieces will be transferred to LTPO TFT.
The report also stated that Apple plans to use LTPO OLED in all iPhone models launched by the end of 2022. LG Display has asked it to participate in the LTPO of iPhone 13, and Apple has also accepted this request. For Apple, it is advantageous for LG Display to obtain LTPO OLED technology. This will reduce its dependence on Samsung Display.
LG Display is currently building a LTPO TFT production line with a monthly output of 5000 sheets at the E6 production line in Pazhou. The company will invest 10,000 pieces of equipment per month in the first half of 2021 and another 10,000 pieces of equipment per month in the second half of 2021. The company’s goal is to ensure a monthly production capacity of 25,000 pieces by the end of 2021.
Compared with the traditional OLED panel, the production time of LTPO TFT takes about 2 weeks more. LTPO TFT is based on the low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) process, adding an oxide process to TFT production.
Last year, Samsung Display was the only supplier of on-cell OLED panels for the iPhone 12 series. The 5.1-inch iPhone 12 Mini and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max used this method. All models of iPhone 13 will use on-cell OLED. Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 models have already used LTPO display, which is very helpful for battery life.