Apple reaches $2.6 billion agreement for Samsung to supply OLED panels starting in 2017

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Samsung Display Co. will begin supplying Apple with OLED display panels starting in 2017, reports The Korea Herald. According to the terms of the deal, which is worth $2.59 billion, Samsung will provide Apple with 100 million units of 5.5-inch OLED panels on an annual basis.

Rumors suggesting Apple and Samsung were close to establishing a partnership for OLED panels first surfaced in January, when Reuters reported Apple was seeking deals with both Samsung and LG Display. Later rumors indicated Samsung plans to invest up to $7.47 billion in OLED manufacturing equipment to fulfill orders for Apple. Apple may also plan to source additional panels from LG Display, AU Optronics, or Japan Display, three other display companies it has pursued deals with.

Samsung Display has declined to give any comment citing privacy policy.

Under the deal, Samsung Display will supply around 100 million units of 5.5-inch panels annually, with the value being estimated at 3 trillion won ($2.59 billion). Samsung Display, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co., declined to confirm the deal, citing its privacy policy.

Samsung Display had a market share of 23% in the global shipment of displays in 2015 for displays smaller than 9-inches according to IHS. Japan Display Inc follows with 16% and LG Display Inc is at no 3 with a 14% market share.

Samsung’s supposed contribution of 5.5-inch panels does not line up with predictions from noted insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who last month said Apple would market a 5.8-inch AMOLED iPhone as part of next year’s lineup. Taking on a “glass sandwich” design reminiscent of iPhone 4/4s, the 2017 handset is expected to feature both a curved front and back.

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