It had been thought that Apple would only have two suppliers to choose from when it came to its rumored switch to OLED displays for at least some iPhones next year: Samsung and LG. A third contender emerged in June, when it was reported that Sharp’s OLED panel business would be up-and-running by next year, and it now seems possible that Japan Display will also be in the running.
We learned back in August that Japan Display was seeking a government bailout to help it invest in OLED manufacturing capabilities, and the WSJ today reports that the company is now in ‘advanced talks’ for an infusion of around 75B Yen ($700M).
Japan Display wants to improve its liquid-crystal display technology to compete against OLED displays while trying to set up its own manufacturing lines for mass-producing OLED panels. Both efforts require large investments.
Samsung and LG were recently said to be engaged in a ‘do or die‘ fight to win OLED orders from Apple. It’s unclear whether Japan Display could have an OLED plant operational in time for next year’s iPhones.
Apple first adopted OLED for the Watch, followed by the Touch Bar of the new MacBook Pro – which is rumored to be made by Samsung. Looking further ahead, the company is said to be testing OLED for the main MacBook screens, mostly in the quest for ever-thinner laptops.