Apple slaps China’s BOE for premium display of iPhone 13

Taipei / Beijing – Apple has added China’s BOE technology to its list of premium display suppliers for the latest iPhone, a major boost to Beijing’s tech ambitions – and increased pressure on existing suppliers such as Samsung. Is.

The Beijing-based display maker has begun shipping a small number of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays for the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 in late September, and will soon increase those deliveries. Said the matter.

This is the first time for BOE, China’s largest display maker, to provide OLED displays for new flagship iPhones, although the company will still provide screens for more affordable models. BOE previously only provided OLEDs for repaired and refurbished iPhones.

“It is in the process of final testing, but based on the results of previous samples, the BOE should have no problem passing the test,” an executive-level source with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikki Asia. ۔ “The collaboration between Apple and the BOE is based on their previous project on the iPhone 12, and both Apple and the BOE want it to happen soon.”

With the focus on the durability of this screen, the final qualification will expire earlier this month, three people familiar with the matter told Nikki Asia.

Sources said that BOE will initially distribute orders for the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 display along with the Samsung display, with the Chinese company accounting for a total of 20 per cent. People added that under the most optimistic scenario, the BOE aims to get 40% of the order for this model from the South Korean display giant.

He said BOE is making OLED displays for the iPhone 13 at the Mian Yang Complex in Sichuan Province, where it already makes OLED screens for Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi and Vivo.

The company also makes liquid crystal displays for screens for Apple’s iPads. It has been trying to enter the high-cost iPhone supply chain for years, but OLED screens are more difficult for iPhones than LCDs.

BOE’s development will put pressure on LG Display and Samsung Display, especially later, which has dominated the supply of OLEDs for iPhones since 2017. As a third manufacturer, Apple will be able to negotiate more with its South Korean suppliers.

It also marks a major breakthrough for China’s big tech ambitions. Beijing is pushing to upgrade the country’s manufacturing capabilities and has placed the BOE as a future challenge to Samsung’s choice.

Many Japanese and Taiwanese display makers, including Sharp, Japan Display and Anolex, have long lost market share to their Chinese rivals, as none of them have a large presence in the deep OLED portion of the capital. Modern displays have become a mainstream feature for high-end smartphones.

Sharp and Japan displays have provided cheaper LCDs for iPhones over the years, but Apple’s decision last year to switch to fully OLED screens on its flagship phones came as a shock.

Despite the good news for BOE, the company’s plans to send OLEDs for the iPhone 13 could be affected by supply chain uncertainty. Local government has prioritized BOE’s power supply to ensure stable production, Nikkei Asia learned, but many other suppliers have experienced unexpected power outages in several Chinese provinces, as well as an ongoing shortage of chips and other components. Are roaming to deal with. Delivery times for the iPhone 13 have already been extended due to tight supply of camera modules, Nikki Asia previously reported.

It remains to be seen whether the BOE can provide a steady flow of OLEDs with consistent performance, sources said, as this is the first time a Chinese supplier has introduced OLEDs for newly launched iPhones.

Apple and BOE did not respond to a request for comment from Nikki Asia.

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