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Apple has virtually cut Chinese display manufacturer BOE out of the iPhone 13's supply chain after discovering design changes to its OLED panels, The Elec reports.

iPhone-13-Face-ID.jpeg

BOE has been supplying OLED display panels for 6.1-inch iPhone models since last year, but the company has only manufactured a "meager amount" of OLED panels for the iPhone since February, according to The Elec. Panel production volume is said to have "plummeted over the past four months."

The initial reason for a dip in production output was a shortage of display driver Integrated Circuits (ICs), since IC supplier LX Semicon prioritized LG Display's orders. More significantly, BOE reportedly changed the design of its OLED panels by expanding the circuit width of thin-film transistors. The Elec claims that when Apple discovered the change, it told BOE to halt production.

Nevertheless, BOE is unlikely to be excluded from Apple's OLED panel supply chain going forward because its presence puts pressure on Samsung Display and LG Display to be more competitive and cut prices. BOE's factory in Sichuan is said to still be operational, and it is possible that BOE is currently working on a workaround to meet Apple's requirements.

BOE has manufactured OLED panels for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 at two factories in China, accounting for just 10 percent of all iPhone displays in 2021, but the company has been planning a significant expansion to overtake LG Display as one of Apple's main suppliers of iPhone displays in 2023.

Article Link: Apple Drops BOE iPhone Displays After Discovering Unexpected Design Changes
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
5,262
7,484
USA
What does Apple expect from a Chinese manufacturer that is par the course.
Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
 

nathan_reilly

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2016
234
792
Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
yeah, of course, the reason China bad is really America bad.
 

Stunning_Sense4712

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2021
327
466
Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
I disagree. China is known for dodgy practices in general. You have them manufactoring dangerous knock off chargers, selling questionable batteries, stealing IP, selling equipment that failed QC or a device that was supposed to be destroyed, and making design/material changes without approval.
 

Mcckoe

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2013
170
352
If they could make the change, and still pass QC… they probably thought, why not. Little did they know, cheap “not as good” screens are part of the marketing plan, and when you are producing more low quality screens than usual; it sets off red flags…
 

Dwalls90

macrumors 603
Feb 5, 2009
5,370
4,138
What does Apple expect from a Chinese manufacturer that is par the course.

I disagree. China is known for dodgy practices in general. You have them manufactoring dangerous knock off chargers, selling questionable batteries, stealing IP, selling equipment that failed QC or a device that was supposed to be destroyed, and making design/material changes without approval.

A Chinese supplier cutting corners. Color me shocked! Shocked!
We can't just assume everything Chinese manufactured is bad... you do realize the Apple devices you love are all made in China?
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
1,120
1,185
I disagree. China is known for dodgy practices in general. You have them manufactoring dangerous knock off chargers, selling questionable batteries, stealing IP, selling equipment that failed QC or a device that was supposed to be destroyed, and making design/material changes without approval.
And never mind the highly dodgy food safety concerns in China, especially with regards to heavy metal poisoning. The reality of the situation is that China is still suffering from the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution destroyed significant institutions and institutional knowledge, it purged most lawyers (and basically the whole educated professional class in general) and basically completely reset Chinese law. Rule of law is critical for safe, stable market interactions, and the CCCP still destabilizes rule of law (if you invest most decision making power into one strong arm leader, it becomes much harder to have an orderly transfer of power when the time comes, and no one lives forever, so the time will come, and orderly transfers of power are critical for rule of law and the sorts of long term stability that markets need). So these kinds of price cutting measures don’t surprise me at all.

(And to the person who blames it on foreign companies wanting the cheapest possible product, it’s not even that. It’s not unusual to hear about these sorts of unapproved changes to product specs to allow the manufacturing firm to net more profits. Left to their own devices, Chinese manufacturers, especially no name, one factory outfits, are quite quick to engage in fraud to pad out their bottom line. It’s just surprising to hear about it at a firm large enough to be a significant supplier to Apple, especially with the level of micromanagement Apple apparently uses with its suppliers.)
 

Mcckoe

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2013
170
352
We can't just assume everything Chinese manufactured is bad... you do realize the Apple devices you love are all made in China?
Actually, a lot of manufacturing in china has become the gold standard: India and Vietnam are used for a lot of sub-contracted Chinese “made” goods; Japan/Korea/Taiwan are still considered the best for display tech, though China is really close.

I’ve had some dealing with Chinese companies in the past. Generally, if you can give the customer what they require, do it cheaper then expected; and no one notices. It is considered a positive thing in China. The difference really is… most things i design are made well within spec, when i send something to china… it will be just barely within spec, and in some places have to install QC Checks before parts are used.

It is a known issue when working with Chinese manufacturing. You just tighten your tolerances a bit to account for the difference, or you deal with the issue; just sucks the first time it happens to you, and you haven’t accounted for it.
 
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Keness

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2003
123
385
yeah, of course, the reason China bad is really America bad.

I didn't take the post you're replying to as a personal attack or blame thing, just a you-get-what-you-pay-for thing. There are plenty of companies asking China to make something for them as cheaply as possible, and you will get exactly that.

I often buy cheap no-brand products made in China from Amazon, but I know what it is "going in" and am willing, considering the price and considering what the specific item is, to take that gamble. Other times, I want something name brand, when that is going to make a difference for what it is.

But there is also a lot of really top quality work coming out of China as well. Look at most of Apple's products, overall, as a perfect example.

I think the issue here is that BOE has a top tier customer (Apple) and did not respect their attention to detail. Attention to detail that they would have agreed to in their contract. Sure, Apple is going to be a hard negotiator, I think that's pretty much a safe assumption, but they've also made many of their suppliers very very rich, so those same supplies can't treat Apple with the same carelessness as some other OEM who doesn't really care much about the finished product, they just want something functional at the lowest price.

I won't argue that businesses in China and America have very different mindsets towards various aspects of business conduct. (That's me trying to be polite... hah) There definitely is a lot of discrepancy there.

But, the position that "China makes junk" has always rubbed me the wrong way because it is too simplistic. They will, if that's what you ask for. There will ALWAYS be someone more than happy to make junk. But that isn't the limit of what Chinese manufacturing can do.

An excellent historical example is Japan. Before my time (I'm 48) in my parents generation, everything coming out of Japan was considered "junk" and 'Made in Japan' was looked at as an insult. It is an almost direct parallel to now with China, really. Over time, various industries push harder and harder to NOT only produce the cheapest products and focus more on higher end products and of course now, that stigma of 'Made in Japan' no longer exists. If anything, Japanese-made products are often considered top notch. And also, more expensive.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happens in China. Perhaps India takes it's place. For a while. Then again, China is SO MUCH bigger than Japan, and has such a larger base of manufacturing now than Japan does or did in the 60's and 70's, they may continue manufacturing at all levels of quality in volume. Who knows.

But, basically, my long and rambling point is that the "China makes junk" mentality is a little too simplistic, and I think the original post was just pointing out that much of what China makes is low quality because that is what the companies hiring them to make is specifying, because they're focused on bottom-level-pricing. That doesn't make either side "wrong" or "bad". Cheap and lower quality products (for some things) are always going to be in demand. It's just an is what it is kind of thing.
 

StudioMacs

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2022
601
773
Plenty of cheap knock-off junk has been produced here in the US.

it’s all about specifying manufacturing tolerances and quality control.

If you have loose tolerances and poor QC, it will be cheaper to manufacture and you’ll pump out a lot of junk.

People who buy cheap no-name products shouldn’t expect it to be high quality regardless of where it’s manufactured.

it’s user error to buy junk on AliExpress and then blame China. “You’re buying it wrong” actually applies here.
 

NoelWalker

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2021
139
272
Listen my fellow MacRumors members, this is when you should file a class action lawsuit for, not an OS not meeting your greedy demand.
 
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nathan_reilly

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2016
234
792
I didn't take the post you're replying to as a personal attack or blame thing, just a you-get-what-you-pay-for thing. There are plenty of companies asking China to make something for them as cheaply as possible, and you will get exactly that.

I often buy cheap no-brand products made in China from Amazon, but I know what it is "going in" and am willing, considering the price and considering what the specific item is, to take that gamble. Other times, I want something name brand, when that is going to make a difference for what it is.

But there is also a lot of really top quality work coming out of China as well. Look at most of Apple's products, overall, as a perfect example.

I think the issue here is that BOE has a top tier customer (Apple) and did not respect their attention to detail. Attention to detail that they would have agreed to in their contract. Sure, Apple is going to be a hard negotiator, I think that's pretty much a safe assumption, but they've also made many of their suppliers very very rich, so those same supplies can't treat Apple with the same carelessness as some other OEM who doesn't really care much about the finished product, they just want something functional at the lowest price.

I won't argue that businesses in China and America have very different mindsets towards various aspects of business conduct. (That's me trying to be polite... hah) There definitely is a lot of discrepancy there.

But, the position that "China makes junk" has always rubbed me the wrong way because it is too simplistic. They will, if that's what you ask for. There will ALWAYS be someone more than happy to make junk. But that isn't the limit of what Chinese manufacturing can do.

An excellent historical example is Japan. Before my time (I'm 48) in my parents generation, everything coming out of Japan was considered "junk" and 'Made in Japan' was looked at as an insult. It is an almost direct parallel to now with China, really. Over time, various industries push harder and harder to NOT only produce the cheapest products and focus more on higher end products and of course now, that stigma of 'Made in Japan' no longer exists. If anything, Japanese-made products are often considered top notch. And also, more expensive.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happens in China. Perhaps India takes it's place. For a while. Then again, China is SO MUCH bigger than Japan, and has such a larger base of manufacturing now than Japan does or did in the 60's and 70's, they may continue manufacturing at all levels of quality in volume. Who knows.

But, basically, my long and rambling point is that the "China makes junk" mentality is a little too simplistic, and I think the original post was just pointing out that much of what China makes is low quality because that is what the companies hiring them to make is specifying, because they're focused on bottom-level-pricing. That doesn't make either side "wrong" or "bad". Cheap and lower quality products (for some things) are always going to be in demand. It's just an is what it is kind of thing.
when I say china bad I am poking fun at people who over simplify. Seems like you don't suffer from that!
 
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Keness

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2003
123
385
when I say china bad I am poking fun at people who over simplify. Seems like you don't suffer from that!

Hah, sometimes I do wish life were simpler. Most of the time. (All of the time?)

Didn't pick up on your intent, sorry about that!
 
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bassexpander

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2022
177
228
Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
I live in Asia. Been here for 20 years. If you don’t run your own QC (Apple obviously does) then many of the locals in China feel as if they’ve achieved something spectacular if they can get away with dropping quality midway, to pocket more money. It’s an endemic problem in Asia, and many, many foreign companies learned the hard way.

US manufacturers once took great pride in “a job well done.” Japanese manufacturers are about perfection. Germans will over-engineer a product to amazing specs. But Chinese will wheel and deal in a lightning fashion, then pull the rug out from under quality and feel absolutely giddy if they can get away with giving less than was ordered. Proud, in fact.

Of course, there are companies who have learned long term gains are better than short term cheats. Juggernauts like Apple will give their business to the first group, and dump the rest like a bad habit.

It’s not racist to call this out. China is not a race. It is a cultural issue they have been changing (but it still exists). Korea was once this way, but it has become a world leader in tech, and they are darned proud of it.
 
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