LG Display’s LCD factory in Gumi of North Gyeongsang Province tasked with supplying Apple’s iPhones are showing higher operation ratios than expected after a recent disruption in Apple’s Japanese supplier JDI’s production lines.
LG Display mass produces LCDs for Apple’s iPhones from its AP3 Gen-6 LTPS production lines. “All the maintenance plans have been pushed back, and the factory is running full-throttle,” said one source close to the matter.
This comes after JDI had to cut production following a power outage in the aftermath of storm. On top of that, the company is embroiled in an embezzlement scandal. On Nov. 21, JDI said it dismissed an employee who embezzled around 6.3 billion won.
Apple currently gets LCD panels from JDI, Sharp, and LG Display. In 2015, the LG unit supplied more than 100 million panels to the California-based tech firm. A year later, JDI was asked to supply more, but LG Display supplied less, at around 80 million panels. Last year, LG Display supplied less than both JDI and Sharp.
This year, JDI was to supply 55 million, while Sharp provides 50 million and LG Display 35 million. But the latest issues at JDI are expected to tip the scales in LGD’s favor, according to industry sources. “Once a production line suffered a power outage, it takes at least a month to get back to normal,” said one source.
Meanwhile, beginning this year, LG Display began to supply OLED panels for Apple’s iPhones but is said to have faced complaints over quality. "A senior employee in charge of encapsulation was let go of due to such issues,” said a former LG Display worker. “This really changed the atmosphere at the workforce.”
In October this year, LG Display underwent heavy-duty restructuring to accelerate its change to OLED technology and cut its growing losses under a new CEO who was named just a month earlier in September. A total of 18 executives were dismissed during the process.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.