The race is on to break Samsung's near-OLED Monopoly. Google joined the race back in April, reducing their reliance on Samsung's OLED's by supposedly investing about $880 million into using LG's OLED's for their Pixel phone screens. Now, Apple's stepping up with a rumored $2.5 billion investment into LG's OLED Display initiative for their phones too.
Previously, Samsung has been in control when it comes to OLED display, holding 95% of the market. This certainly makes Samsung the superpower in the industry, but competitor LG is not giving up without a fight. And if Apple is investing so much in them, they must have a real chance, especially since Apple had previously turned to Samsung for OLED needs.
After LG Display's partnership with Google, they have turned their attentions towards the other major company, Apple. The $2.5 billion deal would have LG Display providing Apple with 92 million OLED screens over the next two years. Which would be huge.
WitsView a display market research division of Trendforce, suggests just how huge it would be, saying that the adoption will be used in 50% of smartphones by 2020.
Apple had already revealed that they had invested money in Samsung for OLED screens for the iPhone 8, though not nearly as much. It seems they have now chosen to invest in LG as well for a few reasons.
One is that according to the Investors, Apple likes to have multiple suppliers so it's not reliant on one company and reduces the risk of component shortages. The second reason is that it would be best for their sales if Samsung does not have a monopoly on the best OLED screens, this way Samsung won't be able to raise the prices too high due to them being the only solid provider.
Samsung isn't out of the fight yet, however, as they have been pouring money on new facilities such as the largest OLED factory in the world.
The deal has not been finalized yet, but the Korea Herald reports that they are 'close' to coming to a solidified partnership, as right now it's 'tentatively agreed' upon.