A new report once again claims that Apple is testing OLED panels from Chinese display supplier BOE for future iPhones.
While BOE displays will not make their way into 2019 iPhones, there is a possibility of Apple using BOE as a secondary supplier for OLED panels for its 2020 íPhones.
As per the report, Apple is currently testing OLED panels manufactured by BOE’s factory in Chengdu, Sichuan province of China.
The iPhone maker is “aggressively testing” BOE’s flexible organic light-emitting displays (OLED), sources told Nikkei Asian Review, raising the possibility that Apple could for the first time source this advanced display technology from China.
If the displays get the necessary certification from Apple, BOE could end up supplying OLED panels for 2020 iPhones. Before that though, Apple could ask the company to provide it with OLED panels that could be used for repair purposes as well as for older iPhones.
In any scenario, this would be a major win for BOE which is heavily backed by the Chinese government. The move will also allow Apple to better negotiate with Samsung, the sole supplier of OLED displays to the Cupertino company. Apple is currently paying a premium for Samsung’s OLED panels which it would definitely like to reduce.
BOE currently supplies Apple with LCD panels for its iPad and MacBook lineup. The Chinese company has been trying to break into Apple’s OLED supply chain for quite sometime now.
BOE currently supplies OLED panels for Huawei’s flagship smartphones.
Other major display makers like JDI and LG Display have also been trying to set up their OLED factories in a bid to supply OLED panels to Apple. However, despite investing billions of dollars they are nowhere close to producing quality OLED panels like Samsung.
Apple is expected to switch entirely to OLED displays for its 2020 iPhones. This would make it necessary for the company to look for other OLED suppliers as only relying on Samsung would end up being both risky and expensive for the company.