iPhone X
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Apple iPhone display supplier LG has temporarily stopped producing OLED panels, a new report has claimed. Does this mean the 2019 iPhones will be delayed?

Previous reports said Apple is transitioning upcoming iPhone models to using OLED displays, and has tapped LG as an additional OLED panel supplier, second only to Samsung which has been supplying Apple with displays for a long time.

A new report from South Korea, however, claimed that LG has temporarily halted production of the said displays over technical problems.

According to ETNews, LG Display has temporarily stopped the operations of the E6-1 manufacturing line, which is based in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, due to technical problems. Production will likely continue using another manufacturing line, E6-2.

The report claims that the problems revolved around the thin-film encapsulation process, particularly the machine used to do it. This process, which stacks thin film layers atop OLED panels to protect its self-luminous diodes, uses nozzles to spray organic liquid material onto the panels. The nozzles are said to be problematic.

The report specifies that both the E6-1 and E6-2 manufacturing lines use encapsulation machines, the only difference being that E6-1’s machines are supplied by LG Group subsidiary LG PRI, while E6-2’s machines are supplied by a U.S. company called Kateeva.

Both manufacturing lines use encapsulation equipment supplied by Applied Materials from the U.S., and also use the same evaporators supplied by Canon Tokki of Japan. These details seem to imply that the problem only applies to the machines supplied by LG PRI, Apple Insider noted.

Interesting details

The report noted several interesting details worth noting.

First, LG PRI supplies LG Display with machinery used to produce OLED panels via its E5 manufacturing line in Gumi, North Gyeongsang province. The Korea Herald reported that the E5 line produces flexible OLED panels used in cars. LG Display is confident in LG PRI’s machines, ETNews said.

Second, Kateeva’s machines are also used by Samsung Display to produce OLED displays. LG Display said, as per ETNews, that it acquired Kateeva’s machines so that it can meet Apple’s demands regardless of the situation.

2019 iPhones Delayed?

Does this mean the new iPhones will be delayed? The report merely claimed that LG “downplayed” the postponement schedule and said the delay is due to “changes in specifications.” Fans will just have to wait for further updates.

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