Apple’s OLED Shift: Prospects for Affordable Next-Gen Devices
Persistent rumors suggest that Apple will transition from mini LED to OLED technology, with a gradual replacement in the iPad and MacBook product lines projected to commence in 2024. Prior reports indicated that Apple intends to launch a new iPad Pro in 2024, featuring an OLED display and having already placed orders for 11-inch and 12.9-inch OLED panels from Samsung and LG.
As reported by The Elec, Apple is engaged in negotiations with LG to consolidate the use of third-party supplier equipment in an effort to reduce costs and expedite OLED panel production. Apple has consistently favored Canon Tokki OLED deposition machines, attributable to their exceptional reliability, although these devices also command premium pricing.
Apple’s discussions with LG aim to introduce Sunic Systems’ OLED deposition equipment, which offers a substantially lower cost. It is understood that if LG were to transition from Canon to Sunic Systems’ devices, investment costs could be reduced by approximately 40%, significantly lowering Apple’s procurement costs for each OLED panel and allowing for enhanced profit margin control.
LG and Sunic Systems are endeavoring to reach an agreement on the development of 8th-generation OLED deposition machines, implying that other companies could also adopt this technology in their products to reduce manufacturing costs in the future. This would result in OLED panels being more widely utilized by device manufacturers, penetrating various niche markets. Previous reports suggested that the next-generation iPad Pro series with OLED displays might see price increases of up to 80%.
In reality, Apple’s MacBook product line faces a similar issue, with new MacBook Air models featuring OLED displays also expected to come at a higher price. Apple’s preference for Canon Tokki OLED deposition machines is one contributing factor. If Apple, LG, and Sunic Systems reach an agreement to implement a new strategy, this situation could change expeditiously; otherwise, consumers will need to dig deeper into their pockets and find a suitable justification for the additional expenditure.