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LG Display will no longer supply Apple with LCD panels for certain iPhone models

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A new report from Korea’s The Elec (via AppleInsider) says that LG Display will no longer be supplying LCD panels to Apple for the low-priced iPhone SE model. The company will continue to sell a small amount of OLED to Apple for the Apple iPhone 12 series. The factories that LG Display used to manufacture LCD for Apple will now make in-vehicle displays.
The reason for LG Display’s decision to back out of producing LCD panels for Apple might have to do with its inability to make a profit from the business. Starting with last year’s iPhone 12 series, Apple’s new high-end models use OLED only which reduces the demand for LCD from the tech giant. LG Display reportedly stopped producing LCD panels for the iPhone during the third quarter of 2020 and by the end of the following quarter it also stopped supplying other smartphone firms with LCD displays.
Apple CEO Tim Cook  has made the long trek to the pitcher’s mound where he has signaled to the bullpen for replacements to LG Display; Sharp and JDI will take over the job of supplying LCD screens for the iPhone. The factories that LG Display used to make LCD panels for Apple will now be used to manufacture low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFT). The latter is used for touchscreen displays used in vehicles.

This year’s iPhone 13 Pro models are rumored to be equipped with ProMotion panels that update the screen 120 times per second (120Hz). At that rate, battery life takes a hit.

But with low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) displays, the screen can adjust the refresh rate to run at 120Hz when needed to make animation (such as the kind you’d find on mobile games) run and look smoother. At the same time, when the content on the display is more static (like when you’re viewing an email or text), the refresh rate changes to a lower number in order to prevent the phone’s battery from draining to quickly.

At this point, it isn’t clear whether LG will be involved in the production of the LTPO panels alongside Samsung and BOE. The latter has tried to find a place among Apple’s display suppliers, but has had problems with its output passing Apple’s Quality Control.

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