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From Petroleum To iPhone Screens: The Strange Story Behind One Of Apple's Suppliers

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From Petroleum To iPhone Screens: The Strange Story Behind One Of Apple's Suppliers
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Japan-based Idemitsu Kosan Co is a petroleum company that owns and operates oil platforms, refineries, producers and other energy-related assets. But the company is also a major player in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s supply chain.

According to a Bloomberg report, Idemitsu Kosan started experimenting with organic light-emitting diodes in the 1980s. After years of research and investments, the company's blue pixels on OLED screens are now included in many smartphones.

Blue pixels don't last as long as other colors but remain critical for a smartphone to display a full range of colors. In fact, the Japanese company claims it holds "all the key patents" for blue lights on OLED screens — the type of screen Apple is expected to use in its new iPhone device.

Idemitsu Kosan's technology is already used in some of the highest-end smartphones in the market today, including Google's Pixel smartphone and Samsung's Galaxy devices.

But Apple's push into OLED screens may make the technology the new norm and force every major smartphone maker to follow suit as well.

Shares of Tokyo-listed Idemitsu Kosa (TYO: 5019) have already gained more than 12 percent throughout 2017 versus a more than 3 percent decline for the broader Topix index.

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Image Credit: By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA - gas station, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Apple Supply Chain Bloomberg Idemitsu Kosan CoEmerging Markets Commodities Markets Tech Media Best of Benzinga

 

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