According to a new supply chain report, Apple has virtually severed ties with Chinese display panel manufacturer BOE. The supplier made a change to the design of its OLED panels used in iPhone production.
BOE has been one of Apple’s suppliers for 6.1-inch iPhone OLED panels since 2021. The Elec reports that the firm has supplied the iPhone maker with a relatively smaller number of display panels than other suppliers. The report says the company’s output has also “plummeted over the past four months.”
Initially, BOE’s reduced production volume was blamed on the shortage of display driver circuits because its supplier for driver ICs, LX Semicon, prioritized orders from LG Display — another display supplier for Apple. Additionally, the report claims that Apple discovered a change in BOE’s OLED panel production which is why it told the supplier to cease production. BOE reportedly increased the circuit width of the thin-film transistors in the OLED panel.
That said, Apple reportedly doesn’t plan to sever ties with the supplier yet. BOE’s inclusion in the list of iPhone display vendors maintains pressure on other long-time Apple suppliers such as LG Display and Samsung Display. The pressure ensures that Apple’s larger orders with these vendors are fulfilled at the best price.
The Elec notes that BOE has been an iPhone display supplier since the iPhone 12 manufacturing commenced. However, the company produced just 10 percent of all the iPhone displays used in 2021. Presently, its factory in Sichuan reportedly remains operational, possibly developing a workaround that satiates Apple’s requirements. BOE is also touted to be a key display supplier for 2023 iPhones.[Via The Elec]