The reason is Apple's decision to reduce production of its iPhone X model.
Samsung is planning to significantly reduce its OLED panel production for Apple in the January-March period as the result of weaker than expected demand for the iPhone X, according to a report from Nikkei. Samsung Display, the division of the technology giant responsible for display industry, is now planning to prepare screens for a 20 million or less iPhone units at its southern South Korean factory in the first quarter of 2018.
Samsung did not immediately respond to our request for comment and Nikkei's report did not cite specific sources.
Samsung has not decided its production target for the June quarter, but the company envisions further cutbacks in the second quarter.
Reuters/Stephen LamAn attendee checks out a new iPhone X during an Apple launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S.
Apple has succeeded in achieving its highest market share ever in Korea, the home ground of its arch-rival Samsung in Q4 2017. When it comes to the facility dedicated to making panels for Apple, the rate will fall to 50% or lower. Earlier reports had indicated that, rather than continue to rely exclusively on Samsung Display for OLED supplies, the Cupertino firm was looking to hedge its bets and source panels from multiple providers. The total average daily sales of iPhone 8 and iPhone X is 120 percent the sales of iPhone 7.
What may be bad news for Samsung Display, therefore, isn't necessarily bad news for Apple. For Apple, however, the focus is less on numbers of devices and more on the profit margin on each device.