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Orders for Apple's MacBook Pro and iPad Pro are believed to be the reason Samsung Display invested another $3.1 billion in its OLED panel plant.
Samsung Display is a major supplier to Apple, already producing screens for the iPhone and iPad lines. Now, according to DSCC's Ross Young, Samsung's investment in the factory is also focused on the 14-inch and 16-inch OLED MacBook Pro, which is scheduled for release in 2026.
To expand its production capabilities, the company intends to invest billions of dollars in its plant in Asan, South Korea.
The investment will cost Samsung about 4.1 trillion won ($3.14 billion) through 2026, the country's Commerce Ministry said Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Investment in the Asan enterprise will be aimed at the production of modern OLED panels used in tablets and computers, the ministry said. Although not specifically mentioned, this would mean that Apple's upcoming iPad could benefit.
Various supply chain reports claim that the iPad Pro model, due in 2024 with an OLED screen, may be more expensive to produce. It is estimated that the 11-inch iPad Pro with OLED display could be 80% more expensive than the current generation, with a starting price of $1,500.
Obviously, creating OLED screens for the MacBook Pro involves a lot of technical risk. Ross says this is due to the need for a “new approach to the backplane and front panel” to reduce costs and improve performance.
Samsung's investment is part of Samsung Electronics' broader previously announced scheme to see its companies invest 60.1 trillion won in regions outside Seoul over the next ten years.
Republished October 11, 1:58 pm ET: Young confirmed this claim on a Bloomberg web conference. No other new information was provided about this.