Apple is known to dual source its components to negotiate better prices with suppliers and mitigate risks. The company currently gets its OLED displays from Samsung and LG, with the bulk of the orders going to the former. Previously, we had heard that the Chinese manufacturer BOE may secure an order for as many as 45 million OLED panels for the iPhone and it now seems the deal is near closing.
The 2021 iPhones Might Feature BOE-Made OLED Panels
Apple has always been very picky when it comes to quality and that, along with issues related to volume production, is reportedly the reason why BOE hasn’t been added to the OLED supply chain yet despite its persistent efforts since 2017. According to ETNews, BOE has now decided to invest in additional plants and equipment that will be required to make OLEDs for the Cupertino giant. Apparently, it’s constructing 10 new module lines exclusively for making iPhone screens at its Sichuan based B11 OLED plant.
However, the decision to invest doesn’t imply that a contract has been signed between the two companies as BOE will still have to satisfy Apple’s quality evaluation. The step is important nonetheless as industry insiders claim that Apple has asked the Chinese manufacturer to make the necessary preparations for the OLED supply. Thus, there is now a greater probability that BOE, which already makes LCD panels for older iPhones, will also be supplying OLED screens for the newer models. However, for this year, Apple will likely be sticking with Samsung and LG.
When BOE is finally brought on board, it will reportedly become Apple’s second-largest OLED supplier, trailing behind Samsung. LG will then presumably become the third-largest OLED panel maker for the company. BOE is already one of the world’s leading display manufacturers but it needs to emphasize more on next-generation products such as OLED and microLED. Since Apple wants to diversify its supply chain, the partnership will be mutually beneficial.
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