Universal Display, other Apple suppliers fall as company to develop own screens
Shares of organic light-emitting diode technology maker Universal Display (OLED) and other suppliers are down in morning trading amid speculation Apple (AAPL) is producing its own device displays for the first time.
APPLE DEVELOPING DISPLAYS
Apple has been quietly designing and producing limited quantities of its own MicroLED device screens for the first time “for testing purposes” using a manufacturing facility near its headquarters, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The move by the company, which is significantly investing in the development of the next-generation MicroLED screens that aim to make devices slimmer and less of a drain on power, could potentially hurt a range of suppliers in the long-term, from screen makers like Samsung (SSNLF), Japan Display, Sharp (SHCAY) and LG Display (LPL) to companies like Synaptics (SYNA) and Universal Display, according to the report.
The MicroLED screens are much more difficult to produce than organic light-emitting diode screens and customers will likely have to wait a few years before the technology is released.
Apple is planning to make the new displays available first in future Apple Watch devices, but it is unlikely the screens will reach an iPhone for at least three to five years.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.
LG Display is expected to start supplying some of the OLED displays for Apple’s iPhone X, shipping as many as 60M displays for the smartphone starting in June, CNBC reported in December.
At the time of the report, discussions between Apple and LG Display were ongoing and LG said, “Regarding the OLED supply deal for Apple’s iPhone X, nothing has been set in detail.
When anything is confirmed in detail, we will announce it.” Apple has previously used Samsung as its exclusive supplier of OLED panels for iPhones.
In Monday’s trading, shares of Universal Display dropped 10.1% to $111.52. Meanwhile, shares of LG Display trading in New York were down 1.2% to $12.92, Sharp fell 2.2% to $8.05 and Synaptics dropped 1% to $47.35.
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