According to recent reports out of China, BOE has completed the first batch of AMOLED panels for Apple’s iPhone smartphones. The report claims that the first shipment has 6.1-inch displays and delivery has 10,000 units. Information from the supply chain claims that this batch of screens will be used on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. BOE had to combine two of its G6 flexible AMOLED production lines in Chengdu and Mianyang for this delivery. While the panel production takes place in the Chengdu B7 factory, the modules ship from its Mianyang B11 factory. There are reports that BOE may complete a second shipment before January 1st, 2021.
The industry believes that Apple’s OLED iPhone shipments will rise to 180 million units in 2021. Samsung Display will deliver 130 million OLED panels. In addition, BOE and LG Display will deliver 10 million and 40 million respectively. However, there are reports that BOE’s delivery could reach 20 million units.
A few days ago, there were reports that BOE has finally passed Apple’s certification and will start supplying OLED panels to iPhone 12 products as early as this month. This was quite strange considering that the last time BOE failed Apple’s verification is just last month. Initially, there were reports that BOE Display must now wait until the first half of 2021 to retry to reach a supply agreement. However, it appears that it does not have to wait that long.
With the addition of BOE, the number of display suppliers for Apple is now three. BOE joins Samsung Display (2017) and LG Display (2019). For Apple, it is still looking for more options to boost its supply chain.
BOE’s B11 and B7 manufacturing lines will compete with each other
After its initial failure, there were reports that BOE will try to simultaneously authenticate with B11 and B7 lines in the second half of this year. The B7 has been supplying panels mainly to Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei. However, with the increasing ban on Huawei by the U.S., BOE certainly needs new customers.
BOE’s B11 and B7 lines will compete with each other. The nationality and personal composition of the two factories are also different. The president of the B11 plant is Taiwanese while the president of the B7 plant is Chinese. In its earnings release last month, the Chinese manufacturer said that B11 produced 4 million of the 16 million flexible OLED shipments in the first half of the year.
Apple is giving LG Display and BOE a chance to lower its dependence on Samsung Display in the iPhone OLED panel. With BOE in Apple’s supply chain, the number of partners increases to three, and Apple can lower the cost of parts.