Apple supplier Samsung to end all LCD production by end of 2020

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2020
Samsung, a key Apple supplier that manufactures a number of vital components for iPhone, iPad and Mac, on Tuesday said it plans to cease traditional LCD panel production by the end of 2020.

Samsung
Samsung, like other smartphone makers, is transitioning its lineup to OLED display technology.


In announcing the development, a spokeswoman for Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, said the company will end all LCD manufacturing in South Korea and China by year's end, reports Reuters. The company in October announced the shutdown of one domestic plant due to weak demand.

"We will supply ordered LCDs to our customers by the end of this year without any issues," the company said.

Over the next five years, the tech giant will sink money into converting one of its two South Korean LCD plants into a production facility for quantum dot displays.

Used in conventional hardware like LED-backlit LCD panels, quantum dots can be "tuned," or manufactured, to emit very narrow spectrums of light when struck by energy from a common blue backlight, making them a prime candidate for display makers. Further, the construction of a quantum dot LCD panel is similar to that of a traditional LCD screen, with the addition of quantum tubes or films situated next to or on top of backlight LEDs.

Samsung has not decided what to do with the two LCD factories in China that will wind down operations as part of the strategy announced today, the report said.

Samsung has in the past supplied LCD screens for products including iPhone, iPad and Mac, but demand has waned as Apple and other smartphone brands move to OLED. The Korean company fills a bulk of Apple's OLED orders for flagship iPhone models and Apple Watch, with LG picking up the slack. Chinese firm BOE is reportedly set to enter Apple's supply chain in 2020 or 2021.

In the immediate future, Apple is rumored to launch at least six devices with mini LED screens, another LCD-based technology that enhances picture quality through highly specific local dimming and better color reproduction.

Samsung's shift leaves Apple with LG, Japan Display and Sharp as its major LCD screen suppliers, though each are readying their own proprietary OLED products.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    This would seem to mean (literally) nothing from an Apple perspective. Orders for existing LCD products will still be fulfilled, and Apple has already been rumoured to be moving to mini-LED, more OLED, and other display tech (including quantum-dot) for some time. The writing has been on the wall for "vanilla" LCD for some time, and I doubt this will cause any disruption.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member
    Don’t Apple’s two best selling phones use LCD? What’s the price bump for transition to OLED?
  • Reply 3 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    chasm said:
    This would seem to mean (literally) nothing from an Apple perspective. Orders for existing LCD products will still be fulfilled, and Apple has already been rumoured to be moving to mini-LED, more OLED, and other display tech (including quantum-dot) for some time. The writing has been on the wall for "vanilla" LCD for some time, and I doubt this will cause any disruption.
    Mini LED displays are LCD. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member

    hentaiboy said:
    Don’t Apple’s two best selling phones use LCD? What’s the price bump for transition to OLED?
    FTFA: “Samsung's shift leaves Apple with LG, Japan Display and Sharp as its major LCD screen suppliers”
    minicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Most probably, Apple (again) will return to one of its former OEM’s just in time - realising it will never own display manufacturing tech by itself
  • Reply 6 of 13
    chasm said:
    This would seem to mean (literally) nothing from an Apple perspective. Orders for existing LCD products will still be fulfilled, and Apple has already been rumoured to be moving to mini-LED, more OLED, and other display tech (including quantum-dot) for some time. The writing has been on the wall for "vanilla" LCD for some time, and I doubt this will cause any disruption.
    Mini LED displays are LCD. 
    I think he meant micro-LED. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member

    hentaiboy said:
    Don’t Apple’s two best selling phones use LCD? What’s the price bump for transition to OLED?
    FTFA: “Samsung's shift leaves Apple with LG, Japan Display and Sharp as its major LCD screen suppliers”

    Great I will stop hearing the stupid argument that "Samsung develops Apple's screenz!" from the iKnockoff crowd.


    Most probably, Apple (again) will return to one of its former OEM’s just in time - realising it will never own display manufacturing tech by itself

    It would be efficient if Apple owned a display manufacturing facility but it probably doesn't make enough sense for them otherwise they'd do so already. Most likely it's just cheaper to get someone else to duplicate for them.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    Most probably, Apple (again) will return to one of its former OEM’s just in time - realising it will never own display manufacturing tech by itself
    Realizing? You don’t think Apple is already aware that they don’t own manufacturing facilities, considering their contract-manufacture all of their hardware? Hmm. Certainly seems by choice, to me. 
    edited March 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member
    chasm said:
    This would seem to mean (literally) nothing from an Apple perspective. Orders for existing LCD products will still be fulfilled, and Apple has already been rumoured to be moving to mini-LED, more OLED, and other display tech (including quantum-dot) for some time. The writing has been on the wall for "vanilla" LCD for some time, and I doubt this will cause any disruption.
    I’m not so sure. It’s hard to interpret what Samsung said. Are they going to supply LCDs until the end of 2020 to those who have already made specific orders, or will they accept orders until the end of 2020 from present customers? It sounds like the former. Apple has older phones that they normally continue to sell for several years. They won’t be able to use Samsung LCD screens next year. What about the 45-50 million iPads a year Apple sells? Does Apple use panels from Samsung for their Mac products?

    none of the other suppliers can either meet the capacity Apple needs, or, for phones, the quality.

    this is a surprise announcement for the public, though I’m sure they told their customers of this decision some time ago.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member


    hentaiboy said:
    Don’t Apple’s two best selling phones use LCD? What’s the price bump for transition to OLED?
    FTFA: “Samsung's shift leaves Apple with LG, Japan Display and Sharp as its major LCD screen suppliers”
    And thats a problem. I just read that Apple bought $200 million of Japan Display’s manufacturing equipment. Now it seems obvious that it was instead of a loan, or a bigger investment in the company itself. But it will give the company moire breathing room. LG makes good large OLED displays, lousy small OLED displays, and not a huge number of smaller LCD displays. Sharp is a company that also almost went bankrupt a few years ago. That’s not an engaging cast of characters.

    this is also likely a reason why Apple has been talking to several Chinese companies about making displays. This throws Apple further into the ARM’s of China. Not good.

    so a questio9n now is what Apple is planning. There are reasons why they haven’t migrated to OLED anywhere other than for phones and watches. Cost is a major issue. The larger displays used for tablets and notebooks aren’t the highest quality, because they would cost too much. Apple doesn’t want to get involved with OLED displays that are less in quality and features than its other OLED displays, or its top line LCD displays. So it will be interesting to see what happens.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member

    Most probably, Apple (again) will return to one of its former OEM’s just in time - realising it will never own display manufacturing tech by itself
    Apple is a huge customer. Unlike other large customers, Apple has few products. That means that they need a vast number of exactly the same displays. That’s a problem. When you make dozens of different phones, for example, and they range from under $100 to over $1,000, you can use cheap, and not very good displays in large numbers, which is easy to get, to expensive, very good displays, in small numbers, which are harder to get.

    apple only uses expensive, very good to excellent displays. Samsung has been the supplier of choice for the large majority for phones, watches and ipads for two reasons. Quantity, as no other OEM is capable of the volume. And two, which is that they product the highest quality displays, reliably. Replacing the won’t be easy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member

    Beats said:

    hentaiboy said:
    Don’t Apple’s two best selling phones use LCD? What’s the price bump for transition to OLED?
    FTFA: “Samsung's shift leaves Apple with LG, Japan Display and Sharp as its major LCD screen suppliers”

    Great I will stop hearing the stupid argument that "Samsung develops Apple's screenz!" from the iKnockoff crowd.


    Most probably, Apple (again) will return to one of its former OEM’s just in time - realising it will never own display manufacturing tech by itself

    It would be efficient if Apple owned a display manufacturing facility but it probably doesn't make enough sense for them otherwise they'd do so already. Most likely it's just cheaper to get someone else to duplicate for them.
    It’s not efficient. While Apple does plenty of R&D, they don't spend nearly as much as samsung does on displays. It would cost Apple a good $10 billion to get into the manufacturing aspect. Samsung has a number of plants. They can switch production of one technology to another, as they’re planning to do with at least some of the LCD plants they’re closing down. They can produce large displays at one plant, and small displays at another. It would be idiotic for Apple to even attempt to do this. And they know it.
    edited March 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    chasm said:
    This would seem to mean (literally) nothing from an Apple perspective. Orders for existing LCD products will still be fulfilled, and Apple has already been rumoured to be moving to mini-LED, more OLED, and other display tech (including quantum-dot) for some time. The writing has been on the wall for "vanilla" LCD for some time, and I doubt this will cause any disruption.
    Mini LED displays are LCD. 
    I think he meant micro-LED. 
    Great. Either way, it should be corrected as they're two very different things.
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