April 16, 2021

Apple might once again have to pay a penalty to Samsung Display


Samsung Display’s OLED panel shipments were down by 9% in January compared to a month prior, and a new report citing market research firm Omdia suggests that Apple has had a lot do with Samsung Display’s relatively poor performance at the beginning of the year.

Apple is one of the most successful tech companies in the world and the iPhone remains one of the best-selling phones on the market. From the perspective of a component supplier, signing an agreement with Apple usually means a sure way to make a huge profit, but that’s not always the case, as proven earlier this year.

Samsung Display is Apple’s main and only OLED panel supplier for the iPhone 12 mini, and this might sound like a sure way to success, except for the fact that the iPhone 12 mini isn’t selling that well. Market watchers clam that the iPhone 12 mini fell short of Apple’s expectations, and in turn, this meant fewer orders for OLED panels from Samsung Display.

Samsung Display’s OLED panel shipments were down 9%

Compared to December, Samsung Display’s OLED panel shipments in January were down 9%, says the market research firm while confirming that the unfavorable results were largely caused by sluggish iPhone 12 mini sales.

Similarly, worldwide OLED panel shipments in January were down 9% month-on-month. The research firm claims that a total of 53 million OLED panels were shipped in January, and Samsung Display accounted for a whopping 85% of them. Regarding the shipment of OLED and LCD panels combined, Samsung maintained the lead throughout the first month of the year. It was followed by BOE and Tianma.

It’s unclear if Apple will end up paying another penalty to Samsung Display

As for the whole Samsung Display-Apple dynamic, needless to say, this isn’t the first time when Apple is overconfident in its ability to sell iPhones and  thus causing issues for Samsung Display in the process.

Back in 2019, Apple paid around $684 million to Samsung Display because it didn’t meet the minimum order quantity specified in their contract. And last year, Apple had to fork over a whopping $1 billion penalty to Samsung Display for similar reasons.

The recent report doesn’t mention anything about the possibility that Apple might have to pay yet another penalty to Samsung Display, but it exists. We’ll keep you posted as more details emerge.



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