Apple is reportedly once again turning to a familiar foe to source components for its next major smartphone release.
The Korean Herald on Monday said Samsung recently signed an agreement with Apple to supply an additional 60 million OLED panels. The deal, valued at $4.3 billion, is in addition to the 100 million OLED screens Apple ordered last year.
Apple’s iPhone 8 is expected to be the first to feature an OLED panel although up to this point, it was believed that the higher-end panel was being reserved exclusively for the premium iPhone 8, which may be called the iPhone X.
Given the additional order and the likelihood that Samsung isn’t Apple’s sole OLED supplier (LG is believed to be the other major supplier), it’s possible that OLED panels could be expanded to additional models. Alternately, it’s possible that a secondary supplier wasn’t able to meet demand and Samsung stepped in to pick up the slack. Putting all of its eggs in one basket isn’t ideal but if you’re forced into the position, there’s not much you can do except roll with it.
Either way, with Samsung and now Apple utilizing OLED panels for their smartphones, supply shortages for rivals could become a very real thing.
With its Galaxy S8, Samsung is reportedly setting a sales goal of 60 million units. Even though Apple’s sales were down a bit in 2016, the company still sold north of 200 million iPhones. A major refresh like what's expected this year would almost certainly send sales surging once again.