LG set to outperform Samsung in iPad OLED panel shipments

Amy Fan, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Market research firm DSCC recently stated that for Apple's OLED iPad launched in 2024, LG Display (LGD) is expected to account for over 65% of the panel shipments, ahead of Samsung Display (SDC). Observers in the South Korean industry have raised concerns about Apple issuing rather harsh requirements, suspecting that Apple may be attempting to shift the "responsibility" of weak sales and shipments onto the South Korean panel manufacturers

Citing data from DSCC, TheElec pointed out that Apple plans to launch 11-inch and 13-inch OLED iPad Pro models in the second quarter of 2024, marking the first use of OLED panels in the iPad series. LGD will produce OLED panels for both 11-inch and 13-inch models, while SDC will only produce OLED panels for the 11-inch model.

DSCC noted that as of entering May 2024, shipments of 13-inch iPad OLED panels remained higher than those of 11-inch iPad panels. In addition, DSCC estimated that from February to May, 13-inch models would account for over 60% of iPad OLED panel shipments.

For the same period, DSCC estimated that, among the two major South Korean iPad OLED panel suppliers, LGD would lead SDC with a share of over 65%. This is primarily because LGD solely produces OLED panels for the 13-inch model and has increased the production capacity for the 11-inch model. Previously, sources at DSCC revealed that SDC encountered difficulties with the 2-stack tandem structure, which stacks two OLED light-emitting layers.

Sources from LGD stated during the earnings call for the first quarter of 2024 that they could not disclose specific details about their customers. However, based on LGD's leading position in advanced technology, they expected to officially begin mass production of IT OLED panels in the second quarter of 2024. It is speculated that the IT OLED panels mentioned here are iPad OLED panels.

The gap in shipment volume between the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad OLED models may widen significantly in March 2024, but it is expected to narrow from April to May. DSCC further stated that the selling price of the 11-inch model is lower than that of the 13-inch model, so a gradual increase in shipments can be expected in the future.

Observers in the South Korean industry have pointed out that Apple has imposed relatively harsh requirements on the two South Korean panel manufacturers. Some suspect that as the shipment outlook for OLED iPads is downgraded, Apple may be attempting to shift the "responsibility" onto the South Korean panel manufacturers. If Apple imposes harsher requirements, the responsibility for weak panel shipments and product sales will fall back on the panel manufacturers.