For some time, Japan and South Korea have not been able to agree well, and this may indirectly put Apple in trouble.
The trade wars between the US and China had badly affected Chinese companies, such as Huawei, who were marching toward first place in world sales. With the G20 summit, the environment has softened a bit and Huawei tension has been resolved for now. This time, the tension between Japan and South Korea, Apple may leave a difficult situation.
As of July 4th, Reuters reported, Japan will restrict the export of “fluorinated polyimide” and “hydrogen fluoride (HF)” materials used in phone displays and processors. As of tomorrow, the Japanese government is expected to make a formal statement on this issue.
South Korean panel producers, who import a large portion of these materials from Japan, may experience production problems following the restriction. Samsung and LG, Apple’s display suppliers, are the two most affected by this restriction. If these companies are limited in production, Apple may not be able to supply enough OLED displays for 2019 iPhones. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will come with an OLED display.
You may think, “Are there other manufacturers than Samsung and LG?” question may have come. Unfortunately, there is no other manufacturer that can meet Apple’s need for OLED display. In recent months, Apple invested $ 100 million in Japan Display, Japan Display only used in the iPhone XR LCD displays and OLED displays used in Apple Watch models. Japan Display, which is too late for the OLED race, cannot supply OLED screens to new iPhone models because Apple cannot keep up with the quality standards and production speed.
Last October, the Supreme Court of South Korea, II. He explained that during World War II, South Korean workers were forced to work at the Nippon Steel Factory in Japan and that this should be compensated. Japan, on the other hand, replied that this claim was “unthinkable.” Since then, the two countries, which have been broken, have set sail for a new trade after the US and Chinese trade.
It is not clear whether Apple has a B plan for OLED screen supply or not. If the tension between the two countries is not resolved, Apple may return to the use of the LCD display on all devices.