Apple ‘Aggressively Testing’ OLED Displays From China’s BOE for 2020 iPhone Lineup

Apple is in the final stages of certifying flexible OLED panels produced by BOE Display for use in future iPhones, according to a new report out today.


The Nikkei Asian Review says Apple is "aggressively testing" screens made by the Chinese company, as it considers taking on BOE as an OLED supplier to cut costs and reduce its reliance on Samsung, which is believed to be Apple's primary supplier of OLED displays.

BOE is the world's top producer of large liquid crystal screens and already makes liquid crystal displays for Apple's iPads and MacBooks, but the firm has its sights set firmly on the expanding OLED panel market, which is expected to be worth more than $30 billion this year, up from $25.5 billion in 2018.

At the same time, Apple is seeking to diversify its supply chain as much as possible. The company often tries to secure at least two suppliers for any given component in order to reduce its supply chain risk and improve its bargaining position. Given that Samsung's OLED panel is the most expensive component in the iPhone XS and XS Max, bringing on board another supplier would be a significant coup for Apple.

According to today's report, Apple is currently testing flexible OLED displays from BOE's facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province, which is China's first site to produce the advanced displays. BOE is also building another facility in Sichuan province, which would be allocated to Apple if it places orders, Nikkei's sources said.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation said BOE was likely to supply the new iPhones next year if it wins certification. But it might first be asked to offer displays for repair purposes, as well as panels for older models of iPhones, one source suggested. That would still mark a significant milestone for BOE, the source said, as it would be Apple's first-ever purchase of Chinese-made OLED displays.
LG is believed to be the only other OLED supplier Apple is considering for future iPhones. LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch, but Apple will only order them for iPhones if the Japanese firm can meet the component's high quality control standards – LG reportedly temporarily halted one of its OLED display production lines due to manufacturing challenges earlier this year.

Rumors suggest Apple will complete its transition to an all-OLED lineup in 2020, releasing high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Tags: Samsung, OLED, BOE

This article, "Apple 'Aggressively Testing' OLED Displays From China's BOE for 2020 iPhone Lineup" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

LG Expected to Share OLED Display Orders for 2019 iPhones, Possibly Followed by BOE as Early as 2020

Samsung is believed to be Apple's exclusive supplier of OLED displays for iPhones, but it may have company soon.


In a research note shared with MacRumors, Barclays analysts said fellow Korean company LG will likely support OLED display production for 2019 iPhones, possibly followed by Chinese manufacturer BOE as early as 2020.

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple may tap LG and BOE as additional OLED display suppliers. Apple aims to diversify its supply chain as much as possible, often securing at least two suppliers for any given component, a strategy that reduces its supply chain risk and improves its negotiating position.

Apple is widely expected to launch three new iPhones in 2019, including two higher-end 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models and one lower-end 6.1-inch LCD model. In 2020, rumors suggest Apple will complete its transition to an all-OLED lineup, including 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

This article, "LG Expected to Share OLED Display Orders for 2019 iPhones, Possibly Followed by BOE as Early as 2020" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

China’s BOE Considered ‘Strong Contender’ for OLED Display Orders for Future iPhones, Joining Samsung

An escalating trade war between Japan and South Korea could make Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology a "strong contender" for OLED display orders from Apple, according to industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes.


Samsung has been the undisputed leader in OLED display manufacturing, and as a result it has reportedly been the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, but the industry sources cited believe the Japanese-Korean trade row could upend its monopoly position.

Apple aims to diversify its supply chain as much as possible, often securing at least two suppliers for any given component, but Samsung's lead in OLED display manufacturing has left it with few alternatives so far.

LG, for example, reportedly temporarily halted one of its OLED display production lines due to manufacturing challenges earlier this year. LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch and is widely expected to become a secondary supplier of OLED displays for iPhones when capable to.

With at least one of BOE or LG joining the mix, Apple is poised to reduce its supply chain risk and improve its negotiating position.


This article, "China's BOE Considered 'Strong Contender' for OLED Display Orders for Future iPhones, Joining Samsung" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

China’s BOE Seeking to Become OLED Panel Supplier to Apple

China-based BOE Technology Group is stepping up its bid to become an OLED panel supplier for Apple's future smartphones, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

BOE is the world's top producer of large liquid crystal screens and already makes displays for Apple's iPads and MacBooks, but the firm now has its sights set on the lucrative OLED panel market.

The earliest BOE could supply the OLED screens would be from 2020, one person familiar with the matter said. For iPhones intended for release later this year, Apple is set to procure screens mainly from Samsung, with a small portion coming from LG Display Co. , people have said.
If Apple and BOE were to agree to a deal, the Chinese manufacturer would become Apple's first OLED supplier outside of South Korea and Japan. Samsung exclusively produces OLED displays for the current iPhone X, but Apple is in the process of opening up to LG, Sharp and Japan Display.

Apple has considered using BOE as an OLED supplier before. In February 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple had been testing BOE's OLED displays for months, but that it hadn't decided whether to add the company as a supplier.

One of the reasons for the delay may have been down to the OLED panel manufacturing process, which is much more difficult than making liquid crystal displays. If so, BOE will need to do more to convince Apple that it can produce large numbers of OLED panels while maintaining the highest quality controls.
If it succeeds, BOE will not only prove its manufacturing prowess with a technically challenging product, but also will score a big win for China in its race to catch up to South Korea and Japan in advanced display-screen manufacturing.

Buying display screens from BOE, which is controlled by the Beijing city government and whose biggest shareholders are state-linked companies, could help Apple stay in China’s good graces—as long as BOE can meet Apple’s high bar for quality.
BOE is one of China's largest display makers, recently spending about $14.5 billion on two AMOLED factories. One of the new factories opened last summer, while another will open a couple years later. When they're up to full capacity, BOE says they'll be able to produce 1.6 million square-meters of flexible glass substrates (surfaces that displays are carved out of) a month.

Tags: China, OLED, BOE

Discuss this article in our forums