Apple is seeking more manufacturers in the supply of OLED screens so that it can have better bargaining power. The American manufacturing giant is also trying to get rid of Samsung’s dominance. Of course, Samsung is a direct competitor. According to reports, BOE, a Chinese screen manufacturer that has entered the iPhone supply chain. The Chinese manufacturer will supply 50 million OLED screens to Apple next year. The report also claims that among iPhone screen suppliers, Samsung Display’s goal is to supply 150 million OLED screens to Apple next year. For LG Display, it will supply 70 million panels.
BOE’s 50 million panel is equivalent to 70% of LG Display. If this happens, BOE is closing the gap with LG. At present, the OLED suppliers of the new generation of iPhones are mainly Samsung and LG. Specifically, Samsung is responsible for the LTPO panels on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, the displays on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are from LG Display.
However, the latest news from the supply chain claims that BOE is launching a new production plan. The company is planning to transform its three factories into Apple OLED screen production plants. As of now, the company is already supplying replacement panels for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. However, the quantity is not very large, probably only 10% of the total shipment.
According to sources, Apple may distribute more screen orders to BOE in the future. By the fourth quarter of 2022, BOE will expand its current manufacturing capacity of 96,000 substrates to 144,000 per month. Apple values its hard power against Samsung.
Regarding the above situation, some organizations believe that if BOE’s supply increases substantially, LG Display’s share may decline and the competition will become more intense. At the same time, unlike Samsung and BOE, which have many customers, LG Display’s 6th-generation flexible OLED panel production line has only Apple as its customer. If it is surpassed by BOE in Apple’s supply chain, LG Display’s business will face risks after 2022.
BOE still has some work to do
According to reports from China, BOE is already testing LPTO panels. However, it appears that the company has a lot of trouble with this technology. Therefore, whether BOE will eventually be certified to supply the iPhone 13 Pro series is still unknown. However, on conventional OLED panels, its screen display effect has made great progress. Thus, it will not be a surprise that the Chinese manufacturer supplies panels for the iPhone 12 Pro.
BOE is about to commercialize its self-developed hexagonal crystal screen arrangement technology. This pixel arrangement technology is similar to the diamond arrangement technology of LG and Samsung. It can reduce the loss of OLED panel PPI (pixel density) and obtain a better display effect. This diamond array is significant because LG and Samsung have a monopoly on this technology. The first smartphone to use BOE’s hexagonal crystal screen arrangement technology is the Huawei P50 Pro+. If the Chinese manufacturer hopes to fully enter Apple’s supply chain, no doubt, it has to significantly improve its game.