According to TheElec, Samsung Display has partnered with Japan’s Ulvac to develop vertical deposition equipment for the production of the Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) IT OLED project that started last year. To meet technical specifications and cost requirements, Samsung Display is developing related technologies for Apple. Using Gen 5.5 (1300 x 1500 mm) and Gen 6 (1500 x 1850) substrates is cost prohibitive because fewer panels can be cut out. The current situation is that Samsung Display needs to get Apple’s approval (whether it decides to produce a large number of OLED iPad) before it can increase investment in Gen 8.5-generation IT OLED production facilities.
Apple and Samsung worked together to develop a 10.86-inch OLED iPad project last year, which was called off in the third quarter. Apple had wanted the panel to be a two-layer tandem structure, with two emissive layers, rather than the traditional single-layer structure. The source said the requirement was not economically viable because it would not produce enough panels at the right price.
Unless Samsung can get a large enough order from Apple this time, it will try to finalize the investment plan in the second quarter and start ordering the required equipment in the third quarter. So if all goes well, the related devices are expected to be delivered in 2023, and then commercial iPads with OLED panels are expected to ship in 2024.
In addition, Samsung Display also plans to apply on-cell technology to its Gen 8.5 IT OLED panels, which will make the device thinner. The company is currently using its Gen 5.5 production line, the A2, to supply OLED panels for notebooks from Asus and Samsung Electronics.