Shares of Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) gained 10.4% in July, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The OLED technology researcher and license wrangler didn't have much news of its own to share last month, but the stock jumped every time Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sneezed in the general direction of OLED-equipped iPhones.
The smartphone titan from Cupertino has never used organic light-emitting diode screens in iPhones or iPads before, limiting its use of that technology to the Apple Watch product line. If the full line of iPhone 8 models turns out to have OLED screens, as rumor had it at several points in July, that would be a strong growth driver for Universal Display's top line.
One report even speculated that Apple might start up its own in-house OLED manufacturing facilities. That would make Apple a direct customer to Universal Display rather than going through third-party screen builders.
Even so, the real growth driver for Universal Display right now should be large-screen TV displays rather than smallish smartphones. One 55-inch television screen consumes as much OLED materials as 100 5.5-inch iPhones, so the math weighs heavily in the direction of TV-based gains.
I'm not saying that Apple's addition to the OLED family would be bad for Universal Display and its investors -- not at all. There's just a bigger market out there, and that's where shareholders like yours truly need to look for the next chapter in Universal Display's real growth story.